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The Brightwell family stands next to Paul Bunyan for a picture. Four generations of Brightwells visited Bemidji to see Paul and Babe this summer. Pioneer Photo/Delaney Daly

Paul, Babe brought to life

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I watched as the town's plaid-clad lumberjack and bright blue ox were brought to life by a thunderstorm that turned a relatively calm lake into a white-capped monster.

The flashes and cracks of nearby bolts of lightning imitated the glinting blade of Paul's axe felling massive timber.

The deep, rolling rumbles of ground-shaking thunder mimicked the snorts, grunts and hoof-strikes of Babe's powerful legs.

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