Abe Lincoln Statue Brings Childhood Friends Together

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Two friends have been reunited by a statue.

It all started when Bob Cornell decided it was time for his 80 year old Norwegian spruce tree to come down in his yard in Adams.

The question later - what goes in its place?

"The idea came, well, Abe Lincoln is universally recognizable. Let's put him there," said Cornell.

So he asked Jerry Merrill, a world-renowned ice sculptor from Rodman, to do the honors.

But there's more.

The two first met in the seventh grade and became best buds in high school.

Both share memories of playing sports with a touch of friendly competition.

"He was always the better artist, better track runner, better football player. But I got more girls," said Cornell.

Now, after falling out of touch over the years, they're back together thanks to Abe.

"We've had a good time catching up on stories that neither one of us really can think was that far back," said Merrill.

The tree came down last October, leaving a nine foot stump.

That's when the work began.

"The hardest part was keeping the chainsaws going and blades sharp. Seriously, we spent more time trying to get the mechanics to run than we did the carving," said Merrill.

Abe Lincoln saw his finishing touches last month, wrapping up a year-long project that brought two friends closer than ever before.

"The main thing is Bob's happy and we're still friends," said Merrill.

Friends who now share a statue and a lasting bond.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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