Aaron Stephan Beaucage, known as "Beau" to friends, died in early February and was interred in Florida where his family resides. Aaron was an original resident of Nickelsville, becoming homeless in the summer of 2008 after quiting his no longer profitable work as a truck driver.
Beaucage was many things to many people, as humans tend to be: a father, husband, friend and poet. He is described by friends as being inspirational in many ways: a casual spirit-lifting speaker, and a provocative artist. He challenged Jeff Greer, a friend, to write songs with his poems as lyrics, which Greer did -- he played two Beaucage-inspired songs at the Nickelsville benefit in November 2008.
According to Greer and Dustin Cross, who also knew him through Nickelsville, Beaucage had worked as a truck driver for much of his life, and had an affinity and talent for poetry. He self-published many works, both in-print and online. He left many of his poetry booklets in the restrooms of truck stops wherever he went. He spoke to Dustin and Jeff about plans to write a semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical story of a rogue poet named Onus Lumins (Aaron's pen-name), who planted these writings in public spaces. He hoped that people finding his poetry would want to learn more, and find out about his novel in the process -- suggesting that a fictional character had left the booklet they had found. The blurred line between fiction and reality could have been quite provocative and it may have been a wonderful story.
Details on Beaucage's death are uncertain. News initially came to Seattle through Greer, who, after not hearing from him, telephoned Beaucage's cell phone and eventually an unidentified friend of his in California answered and broke the news. The location, date and cause of death could not be verified by California authorities. His father, Gilbert D. Beaucage, who resides in Sanford, Florida, refused to comment, confirming only that he had received word of his son's death from a sheriff's office in California. Aaron's Facebook profile shows a picture of two beautiful small children, and of his 69 friends, many who live in Sudbury, Ontario. He may have resided there at one time. He leaves behind a young son in Florida and daughter in Bali, Indonesia, according to Cross.
While his friends express all varieties of praise for him, Beaucage was, by all accounts, a good person -- which, in its unambiguous simplicity, is the very highest of compliments. His friends miss him dearly, and Nickelsville and Seattle are diminished without him.