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Foresthill residents are in dismay over a beloved bear-carving friend who was defaced in the literal sense.
The wooden sculpture located at the Foresthill Veteran’s Memorial Park entrance was damaged recently.
According to the artist and carver, Jeff Trupin, the 10-year-old carving of an eight-foot tall pine tree carved momma and baby bear appeared to have dry rot in it.
It’s apparent to many residents who visit the bear that the face was ripped off due to someone climbing on the wooden sculpture, but Trupin is confident the face breakage was unintentional. A sort of shameful accident as he said.
“Looking at it, it does not appear to be cut off rather than broke off, and along with a lot of internal rot which caused the structure to soften up and be brittle,” Trupin said after inspecting it.
Trupin, 51, is a lifelong Foresthill resident who has several carved pieces of art located throughout the Foothills, and plenty in Foresthill. Approximately seven other carved bears are located in the same memorial park as the newly damaged one.
In his tree falling business, Trupin estimates to have carved approximately 1,000 sculptures from the diseased trees he has taken down.
Trupin has plans to replace the damaged beloved carving one day, but that could be awhile. Trupin is a 1-year survivor of colon cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have taken a toll on his once sturdy body. After going through the necessary treatments for cancer, Trupin said he now experiences neuropathy, numbness of both his feet and hands.
Because of his new secondary condition, the once agile logger is not as stable as he once was, and standing on scaffolding is no longer safe.
Five months ago, just as Trupin was getting back on his feet and considering getting back into carving, he sustained major injuries to his leg during a motorcycle accident.
The recovery process has delayed the artist from doing what he loves. Carving and tree trimming are his only source of income for the Foresthill resident.
For now, Trupin has one multi-animal carving left for sale. It’s temporary home is at Sierra Saw in Auburn until it’s sold.
Trupin’s asking price for the multi animal carving at the saw store, “make me an offer and it’s yours”.