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Local artist's work featured in latest Michael Douglas movie

Robert Cotter of Bridgeport stopped in my office earlier this week. It seems he has earned quite a distinction, although, unfortunately for him, the honor will not translate into a monetary reward, but "bragging rights" only.

Allow me to quote Mr. Cotter, in order to put the facts into proper perspective:

"The painting of a residence in Morgantown was completed in 1993 and sold to the owners of the property. After the death of the elderly couple, it was sold at an estate auction and was purchased by Paramount Pictures of Hollywood, California.

"I was later notified by Paramount, asking permission to use the painting in their production of 'Wonder Boys,' being filmed in Pittsburgh.

The movie stars Michael Douglas.

"I signed a release granting Paramount permission to use the painting and gave them not only world rights, but also universal rights. (I assume that they can now use the painting on Mars or Pluto.)

"I received no compensation -- bragging rights only!"

Mr. Cotter continued, "After a movie is completed, they sell all the props at auction. They did, however, agree to return the painting to me and it is now back in my possession.

"The movie has only recently (been) released and has received rave reviews. It should be in Clarksburg soon."

Several of Mr. Cotter's paintings may now be seen at the Ordinary Restaurant on West Main Street in Clarksburg.

n n n

It seems that we have another "delayed dialogue" in progress.

Back on Feb. 21, my column dealt with William E. "Fish Hook" ReBrook and his recollection of the glory days of railroads in north central West Virginia, in which he tied in a number of memories.

On March 3, I included in Bob'n'Along a short notice written by Wayne McDevitt of 324 Pearl St., Grafton, who questioned what Fish Hook had earlier stated. He mentioned the time the first railroad (B&O) passed through the Mountain State and alleged other discrepancies in the ReBrook article, including a statement contradicting that article in which he said, "The Cincinnatian didn't make the last passenger train trip through Clarksburg. Amtrak ran passenger trains through Clarksburg years later as part of its route from Washington, D.C., to Cincinnati, Ohio."

Well, I received yet another letter this week from Fish Hook, who resides at 1602 W. Pike St. in Clarksburg's Adamston section. He had this to say:

"In response to Mr. McDevitt's comments about my mistakes in my recent article about the railrpoads, I would like to point out that my statements about the railroads' history was taken from the West Virginia and Harrison County history books, plus my own observations for the last 75 years. I am sorry that every last speck of my quotes were not perfectly correct -- right down to the last railroad tie."

He added, "Now, about the Cincinnatian, it was indeed the very last passenger train coming through Clarksburg. I failed in my (earlier) letter to mention that the Cincinnatian was (the last) modern 'streamlined' steam engine to make the final run."

He added that he emphasizes the last steam-powered passenger train.

Fish Hook's final quip? "I stand corrected."

n n n

I can think of nothing else to say at this time than, "Happy Ides of March."

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