An artist not forgotten

Published 8:41 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

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Rattling through things I keep, I came across the article about Sheriff Haines and thought it was worth re-sharing. Reba Chenoweth of Dayton, Ohio was gracious to send photos of the bronze statue of the honored sheriff and the two then-kids from Pike County.

I have long been an admirer of the artistic talents of Larry Godwin and was privileged and honored to often sit, listen and look as he worked.

Larry, too often, out did what he had contracted to do and undercharged for what he did do.

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Once, he decided to put moving parts on one of the Wright Flyers he was commissioned to do. He was not paid to do the extra but the artist in him wanted it done.

Again, he had to opportunity to paint a mural in Dothan of the Farmer’s Rebellion.  Larry was certain that ladies were on the streets during the rebellion. Those with the dollars thought not. He lost that opportunity.  But, the artist won in his own way.

Larry Godwin is a local treasure.

On my kitchen wall, I have a drawing I asked him to do for the first Peanut Butter Festival Recipe Contest. Something simple. A peanut with a chef’s hat would be just right.

What I got was a drawing of a peanut being chiseled by a dozen critters from outer space. Later, I asked him for a drawing for a collection of recipes I had gathered – a farmhouse table with a tasseled haired kid eating a drumstick, peas and cornbread.  I got an Old English beggar boy with two Charles Dickens shadowy figures standing behind him.

My feathers dropped. Today, that drawing is a treasure.

Larry has seven bronze relief and six bronze portrait plaques at the RSA Pavilion Park in Montgomery, several Wright Flyers to his credit, one at Maxwell AFB, works at Disney World, the Hard Rock Café, the cow at Cattleman Park and dozens of other metal animals across the land and, of course, the chrome bumper rooster that was traffic stopper on Highway 231 until its feather fell.

Locally, Larry’s mural in the Pioneer Museum of Alabama’s Village Square of the coming of the railroad to Troy is incredible. There also, is his mural depicting the growth of America, “From Sturdy Men, Our Future Will Grow.” In Brundidge, there is a bronze statue of “Mr.” Jim Ramage, founder of First National Bank that is the work of brothers Larry and Ronald Godwin.

There are treasures among us if we only take time to look.