The first woman to fly around the world was Jerrie Mock, a native of Newark, Ohio. She was a housewife living in Bexley, Ohio in 1964, when she decided to fly her plane, the Spirit of Columbus around the world.
She wrote a book about her experiences called Three-Eight Charlie, which is available for purchase through Phoenix Grafphix Publishing Services.
Bill Kelley, the Newark businessman who asked me to create a sculpture enlisted the help of Susan Reid, Jerrie’s sister who lives in Newark, Ohio to help raise the money to cast the sculpture. Susan got in touch with the Licking County Foundation and the Works, and a partnership was born between the Foundation, The Works, and Susan Reid and Bill Kelley. Susan and Bill raised the money to cast the sculpture, and the Licking County Foundation accepted donations. Once the $ 45,000.00 to create, cast and install the sculpture were raised, I began to sculpt the piece.
The Works had agreed to display the sculpture, as Jerrie was a native of Newark, Ohio. Susan Reid was my model, as she and her sister are the same size; 5 ft. tall, and wear the same clothes size. Susan modeled the exact clothes, shoes, and purse Jerrie wore on the flight. Bill wanted her to be wearing flats, as she flew the plane in flats, but both Susan and Jerrie insisted she be wearing kitten heals in the sculpture, as she put her heals on every time she got out of the plane.
I took pictures of Susan wearing the clothes Jerrie wore, to create as close a likeness to her as possible. To create a portrait of Jerrie at the age of 38, when she flew around the world, I used old photos taken during the flight and upon her return. The sculpture of Jerrie at the Works is located in the courtyard. In this sculpture of Jerrie she is holding the book she wrote.