When Victor Boyce, who heads the Workshops Area at SUN ’n FUN every year, walked into the Florida Air Museum, which is on the SUN ’n FUN campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), he noticed something was missing.
“I saw a number of 12-foot by 12-foot murals on the wall of the museum’s Hangar A — there were murals of the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and others. But there were NO murals of Charles Taylor,” said Boyce, a long-time aircraft mechanic who received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award about nine years ago.
For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Charles Taylor was the Wright brother’s mechanic. “Charles hand-built the engine for the Wright brothers’ first powered flight because no one else was interested in supplying them with a suitable engine,” Boyce said.
After noticing the museum’s lack of a Taylor mural, Boyce headed to several libraries in the area. He found numerous references to the Wright brothers, but no reference to Charles Taylor.
“History has forgotten Charles Taylor and left him behind, so I decided to do something about it, at least in our museum,” Boyce said. “Charles should have his mural up there with the others as part of history.”
After checking with the museum members and staff, Boyce then found a local artist who agreed to do a Charles Taylor mural for $1,600. So far, Boyce has collected $600 towards the mural. He’s now working to raise the additional $1,000.
SUN ’n FUN has created an account for tax-deductible donations to the Charles Taylor Mural Fund, making it easier for interested donors to contribute.
For more information: sun-n-fun.org or call 863-644-8426.