Man turns tree stump into local landmark

    12:26 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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    DEL MAR, CA (CNN) -- A salute to Mother Nature may become a local landmark in Del Mar, California.

    It's no secret Andrew Cullum is good at what he does. He's been wood working since he was four. He can make almost anything, but he had never tackled a tree before. He says, "It's not your every-day occurrence that somebody calls you and wants a stump turned into a dolphin so I wasn't sure."

    This dolphin has a rich history, just like the street it sits on. Jack Jaeger has lived on 10th Street for more than 30 years. When one of the last remaining Monterey cypress trees fell three years ago, he rallied the neighborhood. He says, "I wanted to do something special here and not let it go by the wayside, so there was an opportunity."

    And that's how the idea behind the Del Mar dolphin was born, a 15-foot tree stump turned sculpture. Jaeger put the project in Cullum's hands. It took two weeks, and there were rough patches, mainly in the middle of the tree.

    It was rotten and there was too much damage to save. Jaeger says, "You know if life gives you a lemon make lemonade, and he walks up and he says Andrew are you going to make lemonade? and I said yes Jack I am."

    And the reception has been sweet; just ask John Finley and his wife. He grew up on this street and comes back often for the view. Finley says, "It means a lot to me. I liken it to the giving tree because it gave me so much as a kid to be able to climb it."

    That's exactly what these guys were going for.

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