This post has been a long time in the making. For the last few years we’ve followed on the heels of a ghost. Starting with conjecture and probably more than a hint of fantasy, we’ve become consumed with the task of piecing together the fragmented story of (by all accounts) a seemingly unremarkable man whose childhood drawings not only captured our imagination but sparked a profound fascination in the untold story of an artist.
While we’ve been able to put together the remote and isolated kernels of information gathered in the dusty archives of census records and long forgotten microfiche to extrapolate an adjunct profile of the artist’s historical and cultural context, he himself has remained an enigma. Without any records of marriage or traceable offspring we’ve been left with wild speculation as a surrogate for facts in painting a picture of the child he was and the man he might have become.
To my elation and surprise, the flea market vendor who more than a decade ago acquired the bulk of this man’s collected worldly possessions informed me that an identification card from Beauparlant’s service in the Merchant Marines had surfaced in his basement. While this weathered and noticeably warped memento allows us to assign a face to, and perhaps offer additional clues into his life, it leaves more questions than answers. But for now, let us relish in this small moment of victory as we gaze into the eyes (and perhaps the soul) of our protagonist, Albert J. Beauparlant.
To follow this story from the beginning:
Albert J. Beauparlant
On the Shores of Wonder Lake
Mother, Father, Sister, Brother
Maps and Legends
The Lingering Question Mark of Beauparlant
The Weight Room