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All dogs go to heaven

Marmaduke and his creator come home to Brocton

July 6, 2016
By Andrew David Kuczkowski - , Westfield Republican

BROCTON - Saturday in the heart of the town, right outside of the Town of Portland Town Hall, a statue was unveiled of the Brocton native Brad Anderson. Though his name may not have been as known well as his creation Marmaduke, a comic strip of a great dane, Anderson brought many to the Town Hall was evidence that his impact to the local area was massive.

Anderson died on Aug. 30, 2015. The comic strip artist held many ties back to the Southern Tier and it has given back with the lifesize statue. The statue of him in his rolling chair as 'Marmaduke' is distracting him from his work is vivid and well detailed. Anderson's statue isn't the first honor he received from the small town. July 16, starting in 2016, will be Brad Anderson Day for Brocton.

The sculptor of the project was Don Sottile. Back in July of 2012, Anderson came back to visit western New York. It was for the announcement that the fundraising for the $80,000 statue would begin. This helped Sottile get a grasp of who Anderson was and what he wanted to be remembered for.

"I met with him four years ago and it was a wonderful meeting," Sottile said to the OBSERVER after the event.

"It was a great conversation and so wonderful to have him draw for me some ideas. This concept was basically his idea. It even made it more special for me to be able to create this or execute this statue as it is."

The unveiling drew a large crowd. Some were a part of the community while others were the local politicians. State Sen.Catharine Young was present and gave a speech on the importance the comic artist had on Brocton.

"This is a fantastic day for the entire community of Brocton and it's because we are celebrating somebody from our hometown, who went out into the wide world and achieved so much and brought so many joys into so many lives. Brad Anderson was syndicated in 500 newspapers across the world," she said.

While Saturday was a time to celebrate the accomplishment, Jerry Boltz who is the chair of the Marmaduke committee said there's more to be done. The ground work has been completed, but the site can be top notch.

In the upcoming years, Boltz hopes to see landscaping in the surrounding area around the statue, electric wired in for lighting during night hours, signage at the site to inform the travellers or locals of Anderson's and Marmaduke's story and for signs along the highway to drive traffic to Brocton.

The process has never been quick and easy, but there it is, step one. Just off of West Main Street in Brocton, Brad Anderson and Marmaduke sits and will sit for a long time.



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