updated 02/24/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/24/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
He was right. Today, with acrylic paints, a No. 11 X-Acto blade and rock-steady hands, Drummond, a Kennedy Space Center scaffolding rigger, fashions common dinner-table toothpicks into Roman gladiators, Southern belles and deft likenesses of celebs, including boxer George Foreman and Fred Astaire (complete with top hat and tails). "It just came natural to me," says Drummond, whose $250 creations are sold in museums and in a Manhattan gallery. Adds his wife, Debbie, mother of their three children, ages 12 to 23: "We'll be sitting at the dinner table talking and we won't notice he's gotten quiet. Then he'll just come up with a dinosaur or a butterfly made out of tinfoil or a napkin. It's really amazing."