The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 5, 2007

"Green Man" legend headed for the big screen

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Some know of the Green Man only through rumors about the disfigured former Ellwood City resident.

But Tisha York — formerly of Ellwood City and now living in Studio City, Calif. — hopes to quell the lore and rumors with a movie she is creating about the Green Man, Ray Robinson, who also is known among locals as “Charlie No-Face.”

The Green Man wasn’t a bogeyman or a ghost.

Robinson was seriously injured and permanently disfigured on June 19, 1919, at the age of 8 when he touched an electrical line along the Morado Bridge, just north of Beaver Falls.

He lost his eyes, nose, an ear and an arm, and people have said he grew up to be the kindest man they ever had met, York noted.

Robinson, who died at 74, lived near Ellwood City, making and selling doormats, belts and wallets. Some say he mowed his family’s lawn with a push mower, feeling his way, York has learned.

A writer all her life, York is returning to Ellwood City Sunday for the first time in 10 years. She hopes to interview people who knew Robinson and conduct auditions with locals for her film.

“We have a lot of auditions already scheduled,” she said last week.

She has partnered with screenwriter Paul Chevalier and director Mark Matthews, both of California, to produce the film, which she views as “no budget” — less than $75,000 — one likely to be shown to film festival audiences.

“Someone gave us money to do it,” York said. “We do very small films. This is not a feature film.”

Her attention turned to the Green Man as she was working on a project and Googling on the Internet. The Green Man came up in a newspaper story.

“The film will be based upon Ray’s life, and we hope to use all local talent,” she said. “We’re in the beginning stages of production, and we haven’t even written the screenplay yet.”

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