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‘Warrior’ Film Released

October 1, 2011
By Linda Comins - Life Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Several Wheeling residents are excited by the release of the long-delayed feature film, "Warrior," which was shot on location in the tri-state area.

Leonard Rycerz Jr., Felecia Rycerz Kettlewell and Nicky Ryan answered the call to a film shooting event at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh over two years ago and were given an opportunity to serve as extras in the mixed martial arts flick. The experience was especially exciting for Rycerz, who has a martial arts background and has appeared as an extra in other films made in the region.

Area film buffs will recall that the former West Virginia Penitentiary was filmed as the backdrop for the movie's opening scene.

Several familiar spots in Pittsburgh are recognizable in the finished work.

"Warrior" has been getting favorable reviews from the critics since its September release. The drama centers on a mixed martial arts battle in the ring that pits two estranged brothers, played by Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, against each other. Veteran actor Nick Nolte plays their father, a recovering alcoholic.

On the movie set in Pittsburgh, Rycerz had a chance to pose for a photograph with Edgerton, while Ryan had her picture taken with Hardy.

The Wheeling Area Historical Society, which has been part of the local scene for decades, may be disbanding soon.

Margaret Brennan, the longtime president of the historical society, has announced her plans to move on to other pursuits. She suggested that it may be time to suspend operations of the society.

Brennan has monthly meetings planned for the group through at least November. If a new leader does not emerge for the organization, the group may be forced to disband.

Even if the organization does cease to exist, possibly its publication may continue. Brennan indicated that the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. has agreed tentatively to sponsor the Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review, which the society has published since the 1960s.

Regarding her decision, Brennan stated in the society's monthly newsletter, The Wheeling Times: "It has been a good run but everything has its season. Perhaps in the future, another historical group will emerge if an interest and need is seen."

Recounting the group's history, she said that the Ohio County Historical Society was founded in 1929, but later became inactive. A.B. Brooks of Oglebay Institute restructured the group as the Upper Ohio Valley Historical Society in 1938.

She said that the Wheeling Area Historical Society was reorganized in 1962, with Virginia Ebeling as president and the Rev. Clifford Lewis, S.J., as vice president.

To echo Brennan's comments, it has been a good run for this worthwhile organization, and perhaps some of the community's history-minded folks will step forward to take the helm of this group or form a new society.

In the meantime, the Wheeling Area Historical Society has two interesting programs on tap for October and November.

Megan Clark, curator of Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park, and Wheeling steamboat historian John Bowman are teaming up to give a presentation titled "In Their Wake: Wheeling and the Steamboat Revolution" at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10. That session will be held at the Mansion Museum, where an exhibit of the same title is on display currently.

For the group's November meeting, Clay Kilgore will present a program on "The National Road." This session will take place in the society's usual meeting place, the auditorium of the Ohio County Public Library, 92 16th St., Wheeling.

The meetings are free and open to the public.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at:

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