A Man Who Wanted To Be Remembered
A former detective Landon Boom from New Orleans, LA had found out he had a fatal disease. He didn’t want to die especially because he was going to become a father of twin boys. The man had 9 month 5 days 8 hours 34 minutes, and 56 seconds to finish his business and he had to do it or, as he thought, he lived for nothing. I know how strange it sounds that he knew the exact date of his death which was the 16 of June, 1921 at the age of 47, but strange things happen in this world of ungrateful people.
He had also known he would die before the birth of his sons so one of the things he longed to do was to find a painter who could make a portrait of Landon so that his sons could know what their father looked like. The important part of his story was that Boom was also a great therapist who always noticed small unimportant for others things like the shape of a person’s forehead or things like that, because he really believed that everything mattered when you were trying to solve a case. So, as a professional to his fingertips, he used to find interesting things in people’s appearance even on a daily basis. And it really did annoy people when he was talking about their chin, nose, or that a rectangular face shape meant that a person was self-confident. I mean, he was OBSESSED with description. For instance, when he was reading a book, he used to underline the description of hair or eyes color or other different things, but only if it was a description. So, I think it is fair enough to give his description in details as well. It is not going to be that long I promise.
So, Landon Boom was born on the 16 of June, 1864 in New Orleans where he had lived his whole life. It was a man of color whose family moved from Brazil to the United States in 1866, right after the Civil War. You know how difficult it was to live in a country where everyone was scared of people like him, but I guess the same situation was in every country in the world. Somehow, he managed to grow really tall, even though everyone in his family was shorter than 5’ 7’’ but his height at the age of 17 was about 6’ 4’’ so it felt like you were talking to a giant. His big lips and eyelashes, curly dark hair, deep black eyes, and enormous hands made him look, I don’t know, handsome? The only deficiency he had (in his look) was that his right leg was shorter than the other so he always hobbled and couldn’t run really fast. But he made an extremely long way to become a detective (he made it only at the age of 30).
How do I know all of this? Well, Landon and I had been partners since day one until his death in 1921. After that, I left New Orleans because of a new job but I still do miss this city of bright colors, beautiful people, the Mardi Gras and so much more, every day.
Do you remember the portrait Landon wanted to give to his boys? I want to draw your attention on it again. I’ve found Boom’s travel notes when he was looking for the best artist who could draw him as he wanted. Apparently, it was really easy because he immediately went to Italy on his friend’s advice. Every single note he had taken was in his blue case which he was carrying around everywhere just like he was wearing the same detective-looking coat to his knee and a black hat with a wide brim. In his will the case was mine. So here is what I’ve found there.
Rome, Italy the 14thof October, 1920
My first day in Italy I spent in the hospital because I broke my wrist trying to hop a fence. I mean I’m here not to break every single bone of my body so I need to be very careful (remark: Landon was a careful person but sometimes he liked to exaggerate things) I’ve found a man who could draw me but he said he didn’t want to draw a person like me. I said I were a gentleman and I would never rob or harm him but he didn’t want to listen. I’ve noticed how angry his eyes were.
Rome, Italy the 15thof October, 1920
I’ve encountered the painter I needed!
-Ciao! Could you, please, draw a portrait of me?
-Ciao! Sure, when do you want to start?
-Tomorrow, if it is possible. And, also, you need to finish the work in 6 months. I’ll give you 1000000 lire.
- That would be great, thank you! See you at 9!
Rome, Italy the 16thof October, 1920
So, our first session went great! This artist is a great man who has strong not for drawing arms. Also, he is round shouldered and I think he has some problems with his spine. He has a big mouth and talks about his wife all the time and, according to his stories, they live from hand to mouth, but he is glad to have this job. He is open-minded and I like that about him. At the same time, he is very jealous about his brother who has a lot of money and who is travelling the world right now. I’m so excited to watch him more! At home people are trying to hide their feelings but here it is a completely different situation.
Rome, Italy the 20thof October, 1920
When I told Edoardo (the artist) that I wanted to have a white skin on a portrait he was really surprised. He didn’t say it but I saw how he raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth. I hope one day, in the future, people won’t care or despise the people who have a different skin color.
So, as you can see, my partner really wanted to have that portrait. But, unfortunately, Edoardo was shot on the 4thmonth of work by some criminal with a blue face mask. Landon Boom was more than upset, and had decided to go back to America where he died because of a heart attack on the 16thof June, 1921 at the age of 47.