Replaying those stories, he said, is one way he fights the boredom of running hundreds of knives on the grindstone, then smoothing them on a honing stone.
"The advantage of this job," he said, "is being your own boss, and getting out and meeting people. The disadvantage is that you don't get any medical benefits, and it can get tedious."
To keep himself amused he has installed a boccie ball court in the yard behind his workshop. Often, he said, he will fetch dull knives in the morning and sharpen them all afternoon. Then, in the evening, he will play boccie ball in his back yard with friends. On weekends, he plays the drums in the Monaldi Brothers Band.
Over the years, he has seen changes in the food business. Restaurant kitchens, he said, are much cleaner now than they were 30 years when he accompanied his uncle into the back rooms of restaurants.
Knives have changed as well. Stainless-steel blades with plastic handles have replaced the all-carbon blades with wooden handles that once dominated the trade. Health regulations have pushed the movement to stainless steel and plastic, he said.
There is a seasonal rhythm to the sharpening business, he said. As summer fades, so will the demand for soft crabs and sharp pig-stickers. As autumn approaches, hunters will send him deer knives, and weekend foresters will want chain saws sharp and ready for backyard duty.
In the meantime, Monaldi, a grandfather of four, will squeeze in a short vacation at Ocean City with some of the grandkids.
But even on his days off, he has his eyes on the blade. "When I go out to eat at restaurants," Monaldi said, "I always glance in the kitchen and look at the knives."