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Cardiff Kook decorated in honor of local man

A tribute to Wayne Lewis, who died in a helicopter crash Nov. 18.
(Jared Whitlock)

The Cardiff Kook statue this week was decorated in tribute to Wayne Lewis of Cardiff, who died in a helicopter crash on Nov. 18 at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Bruce Erickson, 65, of Rancho Santa Fe piloted the helicopter and Lewis, 60, was the passenger when it spun out of control and crashed during a landing attempt.

In honor of Lewis, a picture of him was taped over the statue’s face. Other decorations include a ping-pong paddle in the statue’s right hand and a small toy helicopter on the statue’s surfboard. A sign behind the statue states: “Wayne Lewis RIP.”

Lewis, according to media reports, was a realtor who worked for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties for more than 20 years. He reportedly had a great love of helicopters.

Occasionally, the statue is dressed up to honor locals who died. And once in a while, it reflects current events, like when the statue was draped in a French flag and given a pencil to commemorate the fallen staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Before taking on more somber themes, the kook was first known for donning silly and satirical costumes, which is how the statue got its name.


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