DENMARK - It was a disturbing sight. Larry the Logroller had watched over Wabeno for 40 years. Crews were clearing trees in the town park on Thursday, Jan. 3 when a log rolled onto Larry, splitting him into three pieces.
"The last icon of the town was struck down, but we're confident we'll have him back," said Larry Rummel, chairman of Wabeno's park board.
Town workers picked up what was left of the 22 foot statue and hauled him away.
More than 100 miles to the south, in Denmark.
"When I got a phone call on Thursday, they said how good are you at fiberglass?" stated Ron Piontek with Piontek Auto Body.
Piontek has been doing body work for fifty years.
"Reconstructed, got about 300 rivets in him to bring him back into shape," said Piontek.
Larry's right shoulder was gone.
"There was nothing left, so I had to reconstruct, get pieces behind him, and re-rivet him."
And in a separate part of the garage.
"This is Larry's lower extremities. His shoes and logging boots are still in the ground in Wabeno. They're going to try to get them out," said Piontek.
Piontek vacations in Wabeno and knows Larry well. He says he has put about 40 hours into this project.
"All the little kids like him and also the older people, come into town, they remember Larry the Logroller," said Piontek.
The town's insurance will cover the repair cost.
"So far, he hasn't got an estimate together yet, so we don't know," said Rummel.
"How do you give an estimate on something like this? He's irreplaceable. As for the time you got in him, it ain't going to happen. It's basically a donation," said Piontek.
Larry still needs a fresh coat of fiberglass and some paint.
"When he's done he's got to look perfect. He'll look better than he did when he was younger," said Piontek.
Larry is expected to be back in Wabeno by the late spring.
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