Del Mar dolphin statue makes debut

DEL MAR, Calif. – Neighbors along a Del Mar street had one of the last Monterrey Cypress trees transformed into a dolphin statue in hopes it would become a landmark.

Jack Jaeger lives on 10th Street in Del Mar and when one of the last remaining Monterrey Cypress trees fell three years ago he rallied the neighborhood. He proposed to have a dolphin carved into the stump.

“I wanted to do something special here and not let it fall by the wayside, so there was an opportunity,” Jaeger said.

He contacted Andrew Cullum, who has been woodworking since he was 4-years-old.

“It’s not your everyday occurrence that somebody calls you and wants a tree stump turned into a dolphin,” Cullum said.

Shortly after Cullum began working on the tree, he realized the inside was rotten and had significant termite damage.

“If life gives you lemons make lemonade,” Cullum said. “[Jack] says ‘Andrew are you going to make lemonade?’ and I said ‘yes, Jack I am.’”

The reception has been sweet, especially for John Finley, who grew up on 10th Street and returns often for the ocean view.

“It means a lot to me,” Finley said. “I like it to the giving tree because it gave me so much as a kid.”

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