My name is Shawn Bushway and I looking for help trying to find out what happened to a distant uncle and I am hoping you can help me.
I am looking for Rock Napoleon Leblanc born in Burlington Vermont in October 1896 to Leon Leblanc and Delima Richards.
I know that he was in the military during WW1 aboard the U.S.S Tallahassee a submarine support ship and was discharged in 1919. From 1919 to the late 1930’s there is not a trace of the man. According to family he’d pop in every two years to say hi and would typically be the life of any event but didn’t talk too much about his personal life.
He did not attend his father’s funeral in 1940 nor his brother’s funeral (my grandmother’s brother) in 1954. I talked to a Sister Savoy years ago who told me she swears he came by for a visit in or around 1951 but not one family member remembers this.
My grandmother passed away in 2003 always wondering what happened to her favorite uncle. And though my Aunt Thelma is still alive and wondering the same I have done nothing but fail in my searches.
A few days ago a kind soul on this forum sent to me a copy of his WW2 Draft Registration Card dated 1942. At the time he claims to be working for Billboard Publishing Company located at 5 Opera Place, Cincinnati Ohio. Though he gave an incorrect address as it was 2527 Opera Place - this was the first concrete evidence that he was still alive in the early 40s.
Then I found that he’s not the only person to say they were employed by the Billboard and though not unusual considering the number of people they employed – there was an interesting note. On many of the registration cards someone wrote “Lives in a trailer always on the road”. This supports the idea that Rock was somewhat of a nomad and apparently the Billboard was a good place to stop for quick cash.
The company is still around though now headquartered in New York and owned by another firm. I’ve contacted a variety of people with the hopes they could introduce me to someone that might be a history buff of sorts or might have access to old payroll records but at this point no one has contacted me
I can’t accept that a person can live to their 50’s and not leave a trace. I’ve not found a death notice, proof that he received SS benefits, that he got married, or decided to enlist. He simply left Vermont, stopped contacting family and that appears to be that.
I simply want to be able to close the book on this chapter and if nothing else provide definition to this man’s life and the idea that all people matter.
I don’t know how you can help – perhaps you remember an odd but nice friend of your parent’s that you might have called Uncle Rock. Maybe your parents owned a farm and had a temporary laborer named Rock. Maybe you’re the child of a Rock Leblanc that continued his nomadic ways and though you have his name you’ve never met him. The fact that these forums reach so many people provides some hope that someone reading this will recognize the name.