County Road 12 - Wright Brothers Flyer

We celebrate an anniversary this year that changed everyone's life. The first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright back in 1903. The centennial celebration will happen later this year in Dayton, Ohio and it will have ties to Alabama thanks to artist Larry Godwin, who lives somewhere out along county road 12.

When you see it, you are looking at a piece of history. But more importantly for Larry Godwin, you are looking at art, his art. "This is the fourth replica of the Wright Brothers flyer." You've most likely seen his work before. "We have today scattered around the country horses, giant dogs sitting on top of museums, roosters who are almost retired. And bears and you name it." His whole life has been dedicated to it and that's not easy growing up in a small south Alabama town. "Over the years I discovered that there was really nothing much I could do except art and I didn't do very well at school to start with because I really didn't like school I didn't like the three R's to much I was finally stimulated by a third grade teacher who handed me paint and clay." From those humble beginnings, he has stayed true to his passion. "I enjoy painting, pottery sculpture." His latest work celebrates the Wright Brothers and their passion. "They were working towards the objective of flight and what made them unique was the fact that they were able to fly which other people were doing but they were able to control and sustain flight. Mine don't fly and the only guarantee is that they are going to be strong enough to sustain high winds and weather conditions and sit there hopefully for a long long time." This latest achievement will be the center of centennial celebrations in the hometown of Orville and Wilbur Wright, who would no doubt been impressed by Larry Godwin and his art. "I would rather be known as a sculptor and not as the sculptor of the Wright Brothers work. If you can achieve a name sometime you're happy that you did do that but it's not just the reputation it's how much you achieved.

This sculpture was no small affair. It took 14 months to build. Has a wing span of almost 37 feet and weighs more than 2 tons. It is already at it's new home at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.