web analytics

Or maybe not

Still working my way slowly through Norman Rockwell’s autobiography (it’s an actual paper book; I’ve kind of forgotten how to use those). Early in his career, nearly all his commissions were for kids’ magazine. He describes how he would hang around elementary schools for hours checking out children, then approach the ones he favored and asked them back to his studio.

I thought what a quaint and innocent time, until I got here:

Four ground-glass windows faced the hallway leading to the other offices. When Billy and Eddie saw the shadow of a passing person on the glass, they’d shuffle their feet and scream, “Oh, Mr Rockwell, don’t. Please. Oh, Mr Rockwell, we didn’t know you were that kind of man.” And I could see the person stop and turn his head to listen. Then Billy and Eddie would fall silent and the person would put his head close to the window so he could hear better. But Billy and Eddie always ruined their own game at this point by breaking into shouts of laughter.

Billy was Billy Paine, Rockwell’s favorite model. The illustration above was Rockwell’s very first Saturday Evening Post cover, and Paine was the model for all three boys. Here’s Billy’s sad end:

When he was thirteen Billy was climbing out of a window in the second story of Edgewood Hall with a girdle he’d stolen from a lady’s room, and lost his footing, falling to the sidewalk below. A few days later, he died

A more innocent time, my ass.

Right. Back here tomorrow, 6 sharp WBT. Dead Pool Round 58!

Comments


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 16, 2014, 11:39 pm

Rape jokes: funny for over a century.


Comment from surly ermine
Time: January 17, 2014, 12:51 am

Wow, what a way to go, on a girdle raid.

Anyone have any Rockwell favorites? I’ve always liked the “Girl with the Black Eye”, reminds me of the wife. I have a picture of her flipping the bird at age 8. Mean-ass kid.


Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: January 17, 2014, 1:25 am

‘Course, in these “enlightened times” in which we presently live, that “…hang(ing) around elementary schools for hours checking out children, then approach(ing) the ones he favored…” would get him rousted, arrested, locked up and strip-searched, if not tased or even shot during the process, then prosecuted within an inch of his life and beyond bankruptcy. Especially when they found out he was a life-long bachelor, a rather horse-faced old geek and a smoker to boot…

“Modern times”, indeed -


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 17, 2014, 2:17 am

‘Course, in these “enlightened times” in which we presently live, that “…hang(ing) around elementary schools for hours checking out children, then approach(ing) the ones he favored…” would get him rousted, arrested, locked up and strip-searched, if not tased or even shot during the process, then prosecuted within an inch of his life and beyond bankruptcy.

Or he’d be forced to join a union & rape on the taxpayer’s dime.


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 17, 2014, 5:05 am

It is important to support the Independence movements within the USA.
Certain states require foreign intervention in their efforts.


Comment from unkawill
Time: January 17, 2014, 5:42 am

Dave Madden and Russel Johnson
out of the running for friday.


Comment from gromulin
Time: January 17, 2014, 6:15 am

I just read that the perfesser was a WW2 bombardier with 44 missions in a B-25. That’s kinda badass. RIP.


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 17, 2014, 6:51 am

RIP. I’ll always remember him in “This Island Earth”.

My wife’s uncle John died, too. Not that he was a celebrity, but he was an awesome dude.


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 17, 2014, 11:01 am

Mega Death Pool!

The failure of Amerikan reaktor technology

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/why-obama-wont-admit-fukushima-radiation-is-poisoning-americansconnecting-the-dots_012014

Where is the Black Man now?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 17, 2014, 12:48 pm

Rockwell was married three times, JS (he just looks like a confirmed bachelor). His second wife was a drunk who somehow accidentally burned his studio down with a LOT of his work inside.

Which is a stone cold pity. We went to a Rockwell exhibition in London a couple of years ago and I was stunned at how awesome his original paintings are. I have done him a disservice all these years; he was a much, much better painter than I had realized.


Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: January 17, 2014, 3:16 pm

Whoopsy! Now, where’d that “life-long bachelor” silliness creep in from, ennyhoo? I at least knew THAT much about the man – sorry ’bout that, Mr. Rockwell…

I had read, somewhere, that his spouse accidentally burned down his studio at one juncture (which was how I knew he was married – at least once, though I didn’t know it was three times! Truly, a Man Of Parts, just about all of them outstanding…), and, as you say, more’s the pity. He allegedly had some excellent business managers, as well, which is all to the good – he was, by any measure, quite prolific. The Saturday Night Post magazine would have been nothing like the same without his products.

Hmmm-m-m – I think I, too, need to get ahold of a copy of that autobiography, and study-up on it a bit…


Comment from Roland Burgess
Time: January 25, 2014, 2:34 pm

Another take on Rockwell.
The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, a new biography of the great American artist and iconic figure Norman Rockwell, accuses him of being a closeted homosexual, basing the spurious claim on the fact that Rockwell would stop young boys on the street or at recess and ask if they would pose for his illustrations. The author, Deborah Solomon, ignores the fact that Rockwell, who was married three times and had three children with his second wife, who died unexpectedly in 1959, stated in his autobiography that after he asked the boy, they would go together to ask the child’s mother for permission.

Rockwell’s family is furious about the biography for its sloppiness and misuse of sources, saying there are a multitude of inaccuracies as well as a “phantom theory” about his sexuality. The family released a statement saying there were at least 96 factual errors in the book, and that Solomon made “highly selective” use of Rockwell’s autobiography “My Adventures as an Illustrator.”


Comment from Nina
Time: January 25, 2014, 6:56 pm

All you have to do is read though assorted biographies on Wikipedia to know that just about everyone seems to have been a closeted homosexual.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 26, 2014, 2:05 pm

Yeah, I read a very huffy review of that biography, Roland. Such silly.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)


Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.


<< carry me back to ol' virginny