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Facts and Figures

On the Heels of a Ghost

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.

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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
Gold Dust

Discussion

5 comments for “On the Heels of a Ghost”

  1. Posted by The Shit House Poet | September 3, 2008, 7:30 pm
  2. This probably sounds crazy, but I think he is the most classic spy I have ever laid eyes on. Look at that height and weight. Nobody would suspect someone that small. I can just see him opening envelopes with clothing irons, reading someone’s mail, then carefully sealing them back. I suspect he speaks French, English, and probably German somehow. The look on his face in that picture is the look of a man who has the audacity to believe he can get away with something. The meticulously manicured appearance, almost too clean looking, reaks of wanting to blend into crowds. I think he was no doubt a man to be feared, but by the time others realized they should fear him, it was too fucking late. What a haunting ghost you are Mr. Beauparlant if that’s really your name!!!

    =)

    He almost could fit into the J.D. Salinger novel “Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenters”. I can picture him sitting next to Helen Silsburn, just behind Buddy Glass. I wonder what you feel when you hold that old card guys. Do you even think of where it may have been? Is it a forgery? It almost looks as if he deliberatley signed his name too long to partially cover his picture. That would set the picture behind the signature, disguising the fact that someone else’s is behind it. Can you imagine Mr. Beauparlant carrying this card around, you know, doing spy shit? Can you imagine that? What if this is the case:

    The real Albert Beauparlant was killed by a look-a-like, this man in the picture, and he pretended to be him for the rest of his life. That’s one talented Mr. Ripley you have there.

    Yeah, I know, I’m ridiculous. Though, we all know that you were due one of my lengthy and crazy comments. Admit it, they’re kind of fun sometimes. I’m scared of that little man, Mr. Beauparlant. He is just too clean looking, too perfect, and I wonder… is this the man who built the gigantic candle? Just who are you Albert Beauparlant? Speak to us you ghost. Else we’ll have to pay the whopping $7 to the ancestry site and go “CSI” on your ass.

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | September 4, 2008, 7:56 pm
  3. SHP,

    We’ve already combed the Ancestry records. If you follow the trail of all posts on Mr.B you’ll see everything we’ve uncovered. Hell, I even contacted his sister’s husbands family in an effort to reach his nephews/nieces as he had no offspring himself. Part of our love for this man is the mystery that engulfs him. Maybe his ghost still haunts these foggy streets.

    Posted by Charles | September 13, 2008, 2:53 pm
  4. My fascination with this story could not be more complete. But now I’m left with a new mystery and one that is far more interesting than Mr. Beauparlant’s origins. Imagine for a second the vast and diverse contents of Bruce’s basement.

    Posted by jennifer martinez | November 17, 2008, 9:41 pm
  5. i googled his name because i have a 19th century french clock with his name and the year 1943 engraved on the dial. curiosity yields even more.

    Posted by peter | April 20, 2009, 3:33 pm

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