On the Road: Puzzling Farmer

Updated: 02/24/2014 5:34 PM KSTP.com By: Jason Davis

When someone gave Merle Weckwerth a jigsaw puzzle more than 30 years ago, they had no idea what they had started.

Merle, who today is 85 years old, has spent just about all of his spare time for the past three decades putting together hundreds of jigsaw puzzles of all shapes and sizes.

But, unlike most of us who simply take a completed picture apart and put it back in the box, Merle glues them all together, frames them and hangs as many as he can on the walls.

In fact, he spends so much time in his basement workshop that his wife of 60 years Verlie, says he lives downstairs, and she lives up.

Merle has retired from farming now but still works in the fall during the beet harvest and is always ready and willing to help family or neighbors with construction projects.

But it is his jigsaws that he loves so much that he actually created his own system for laying out the pieces. Using sheets of cardboard he draws a series of squares that are lettered and numbered. Every piece of the jigsaw is placed in a square before Merle starts to put the picture together.

It is a time consuming system and add hours to the process. But, no matter, says Merle. Time is something he has plenty of.