ENTERTAINMENT

Mermaid on sale

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A mermaid statue that lives in an Arlington yard is on sale.

Paul Jackson carved the statue in 2004 on his wife’s asking. He turned an old, dying white ash tree into a bare-breasted mermaid. Neighbors aren’t sure whether to love or hate the statue, but the Jacksons are fond of their work.

“Four years ago we had her married. If you look at this turtle, she's married to the turtle. We had a wedding,” Paul Jackson says.

The mermaid was mentioned on the off-beat tourist site, roadsideamerica.com. Jackson calls the statue his daughter, but he says it's time for his 18-foot behemoth to swim away.

Jackson says he's decided to sell the statue because the tree’s roots are starting to dissolve and it could fall over. “I want her to live as long as possible,” he said.

He has a prospective buyer at a local seafood restaurant in Clarendon. “It'd be close to home, so I can visit her,” he said. He's asking $3,000 for the carving, and the buyer must haul her away.

Some neighbors said they can’t wait because rubbernecking has caused accidents and tourists park in their driveways.

Neighbor Andy Lakritz says the statue made his street recognizable. Whenever he got off at a nearby bus stop, the driver would ask him if he owned the statue.

While she's no little mermaid, those curves add a little bit of color to the community.

“It's a sad day for the neighborhood. It's become a fabric of our neighborhood and a great talking point,” said Ken Walsh.

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