Many words were used to describe the premiere of the film “The Man Behind the Legend” Thursday night, but the great granddaughter of Paul G. Blazer was speechless.
Thursday was the first time Caroline Blazer Conner Greathouse had been in Ashland in 20 years since Paul G. Blazer Jr., her grandfather, passed away. The seats were full at Paramount Arts Center. The film showcased the life of Paul G. Blazer Sr. and how he impacted Ashland. Greathouse expressed that she and her family were grateful for the people who came out to watch the film, and she choked back tears at the community response.
“It’s emotionally overwhelming, but an extremely positive experience,” said Greathouse. “It has been an absolute honor to look over the crowd and see how many eyes are staring back, and (who) are willing to take the time out (of their day) to come and see the history that has made this community.”
Several residents viewed the film about Ashland Oil’s founder.
Maryann York, of Ashland, came out to watch with her husband.
“This area is forever owing,” she said. “We will never be able to repay the Blazer family for what they have done for this community.”
She said she was very thankful she was able to watch a film that was so insightful.
“I’m glad that it happened here,” York said.
Cindy VanHorn, another resident present at PAC Thursday, had seen other documentaries from David Carter and enjoyed them. When she saw he was the one who made the film, she decided to come out and watch it.
“I’ve learned a lot,” VanHorn said. “There is a lot of good history (in the film). I had an uncle that worked at Ashland Oil. It’s always interesting to learn about this area.”
“I think anyone who worked there or had (a family member) that worked at Ashland Oil should see it (the film) because it was such a huge part of this area,” said Sue Dowdy, a former employee of Ashland Oil.
Dowdy started working for Ashland Oil the day after her high school graduation. She worked there until she retired. She held many titles while she was working at the company, but her last one was manager of the Ashland Oil foundation.
“I certainly hopes everyone takes advantage of and either buys the DVD or schedules to watch it on KET,” she said.
Dowdy said that working with Ashland Oil was like being surrounded by family.
“It’s been an honor just to be with these people and to see the impact he has had in the community,” Greathouse said.
Greathouse now lives in Midway with her husband.