Manatee Carving is a Tribute to Member's Uncle

The above carving of Lorelei the manatee was made by Deb Lum's Uncle Bill, who passed way unexpectedly. (Photo courtesy Deb Lum)

Not long after ‘adopting’ Lorelei, one of the Homosassa Springs manatees, I asked my Uncle Bill if he would consider making a carving of her. Uncle Bill had carved a virtual menagerie of animals and “little people” over the years, but never a manatee. Despite this, his response was an immediate –
and enthusiastic – “Yes.”

Deb Lum's Uncle Bill (bottom) with her father.
(Photo courtesy Deb Lum)

What I didn’t know was that, at the time, Uncle Bill had never even seen a manatee. But that didn’t stop him. He went out and got books and photos of all kinds so that he could get Lorelei “just right.”

Often in the carving process he would ask if I thought Lorelei needed this or that, and I would always say, “No, she’s beautiful just the way she is.”

Uncle Bill passed away unexpectedly June 12, leaving Lorelei forever a “work in progress.” And while she’ll never be the final product he envisioned, I still maintain that she’s beautiful – just the way she is.

 -- Submitted by Deb Lum,
East Syracuse, NY


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