The trail of the Whoopee girl had hit a dead end, until I contacted Judy Anderson, an expert on the history of the Pioneer Days who is writing a book entitled: A Grand Celebration! Ogden Pioneer Days and the Rodeo Queens and a past Miss Odgen Rodeo herself. Judy had an inkling the painting might still be around and made some calls to local government officials. A few days later she hit paydirt. She emailed me with the news that a city councilperson had informed her the painting was still in the possession of the mayor's office. It had been recently reframed and was displayed in an office in one of the local government buildings. I couldn't believe my luck, a small blurb in a 75 year old newspaper article had led me to one of Bolles' very best Film Fun paintings, or so I thought.
But no! As my lame depiction indicates, it was not to be. The painting had vanished! Worse, from what Judy was told it had been hanging in the office just days before she started checking into it. Curiously, there didn't seem much interest by city officials to try and locate the painting, until I informed them it was worth a lot of money. Some quiet inquiries were initiated but led nowhere, despite the concerted efforts of one of the city council members. I had gotten tantalizingly close to finding a Bolles original only to be thwarted. Over the next two years I would occasionally email Judy but there was no news about the painting, until three weeks ago.
Coming: Part IV: Lassoed!