Google Canadian, Texas, and one of the first photos you will see is one of “Aud,” the 50-foot-long, 17-foot-high, 1-ton dinosaur that stands sentry from her vantage point atop a mesa overlooking Highway 60/83. The location is often given as reference points instead of mileage to the Y south of Canadian. Aud even makes the blotter: “Caller advised he was making the turn around south of town by Aud the Dinosaur when a subject approached him and told him to call 911.”
Aud is the creation of the late Gene “Pig” Cockrell, who died in July 2013. He constructed the concrete and steel landmark in 1993. It has become a popular attraction for tourists, who watch for the dinosaur as they descend the caprock seven miles south of town. Gene named the dinosaur after his wife Audrey. He said he wanted local children to know they were almost home and give curious travelers something to talk about. And that he has …
In 2015, Aud and other creations he had constructed at their home on Marshall Drive, were in need of repair. Aud aficionados put together a fund to have his creatures, figures—and even a flying saucer—refurbished. Aud was then given a new persona and painted a Sinclair-green, because Gene and Audrey met at the Sinclair station that was once located at the corner of 2nd and Main in downtown Canadian.
Photos by Ray Weeks