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Unidentified portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Their Stories – Unidentified Portraits 3 and 9

This week’s Their Stories posting includes a letter and a short first-person story. Be inspired by one of the unidentified portraits and participate by posting on the wall in the exhibition space or in the comments below!

 

Portrait #3

A lapsed Jesuit

The day that I was asked to sit for this photograph was the same day that I discovered my benefactor and friend Dr. Emile Herbert would no longer be attending communion at St. Ignatious of Loyola church where I had preached for more than twenty years. It was then that I understood why I had been born. My true calling was to become a medical doctor, rather than a priest. Dr. Herbert would no longer be attending services because he had become stricken by the same disease that he had spent his life trying to eradicate. And that disease was Dementia Praecox, or what is often referred to as insanity.

By: Carol Barbour

 

Unidentified portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection

Unidentified portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection

Portrait #9

Dearest Mother,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have thought much of you this day. With tears in my eyes earlier, I said aloud, oh that sons and daughters should take their parents advice to heart.

Through my tears I recalled how you spoke harshly of Helen the day we wed. I am sorry I did not believe you then, but I have come to understand. You looked into my future and saved me with your guidance.

Before we parted, you taught me how to feel joy, to take pleasure in the recalling of a simple word or a shared moment. Marriage has much difficulty, but thanks to you I stop, take in all that is around, and let the joy fill me. The way the girls look following an afternoon of play, the flowers in bloom at the front of the house and smell of the chemicals in my developing trays. I feel strength in my happiness and conviction to overcome my plight.

The gift of one joyous moment to the next carries me through the difficult times. You have taught me well. This day, I feel the greatest appreciation for my mother.

With love,

William

 

By: Lisette Sanders Coulson