I’d like to pay tribute and express my appreciation for a life long scholar and generous devotee of “all things Lizzie” – Mr. Edward R. Thibault, Jr. of Somerset, Mass. So often we give tributes when the recipient is no longer among us, and had we done so earlier they would have known how much we think of them and are grateful for their contributions to this most enigmatic case.
Until recently, Ed was a tireless worker at the Lizzie Borden B&B, dressed as Andrew Borden greeting and guiding guests through The House. He was a particular favorite of the tour bus crowds and delighted everyone with his annual re-enactments as Andrew on August 4, 1892. Ed pitched in on many special occasions with both former and current B&B operators. Ed even put on an apron and helped out cooking the breakfasts when there were exceptionally large numbers of overnight guests.
But Ed was into this case for decades: famous for making replicas of the skulls of Andrew and Abby, which were a big hit at the 1992 Centennial Conference (see 1992 article below), when I first met him. Ed has more factual knowledge about the case than just about any one I know and is always willing to share that knowledge.
It is the visiting public’s loss that Ed is now “retired” from guiding tourists who flock to 92 Second Street. It’s now the public’s loss that they do not get to see Ed himself acting out “Andrew”. He was so perfect in pose and prose!
Even before the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast opened on August 4, 1996, Ed was there in the thick of it, helping with the renovation. Ed has amassed an incredible newspaper collection of Fall River and the Borden case…articles starting in 1845 and up to 2002, which were used for extensive reference by Len Rebello in his writing
of Lizzie Borden Past & Present (1999). Ed has since donated this massive collection to the B&B. With Ed taking life easier now, his wife Eleanor, another exceptional tour guide/innkeeper, and Cook Dave Quigley, are the only remaining original employees to the B&B. (One of Ed & Eleanor’s grandaugters now works at the B&B as well.) It should also be mentioned that along with the lovely and always extremely interesting Eleanor, Ed appeared in numerous documentaries on Lizzie Borden and both are always immediately recognized by B&B visitors.
It’s been my great privilege to know Ed these past 15 years and to have spent hours in talks of “all things Lizzie”. He’s been a good friend to many, an outstanding contributor to the body of tangible emphera and collectibles about the Borden case, and a memorable character and guide. For this, I curtsy before you Ed, and say:
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OH, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO LAURA JAMES FOR ADDING ME TO HER BLOGROLL FOR “INTERESTING BLOGSITES” at http://laurajames.typepad.com/clews/2007/06/genre-news.html
AND TO RJR “LEFTY” FOR LINKING THIS BLOGSITE TO HIS AT