Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Immense Weight of Norman Rockwell


I just woke up from the strangest dream, in which I had cartoon characters tattooed on the calves of both my legs. Beavis and Butthead were on my outer left leg. I don't remember who the others were. Dave was somehow responsible for this, and in the dream I wasn't upset at all, though in real life it would certainly be a different story.

The roofers haven't yet erected their scaffold to begin the roof repairs on our house. We were told it would happen yesterday, but for whatever reason it didn't. I am so happy that I don't have to manage this project at all. We just come and go as usual and at some point we'll come home and there will be a scaffold.

I mailed the wayward birthday card yesterday -- the one that arrived at our house last week by mistake. The sender did respond to my Facebook message, and he seemed rather cautious, but when I explained how I tracked him down (first name on the card, last name on the accompanying check, and an unusual name overall) he was satisfied and he told me where to send it. It's another street very near ours with a completely different name, but the same house number. It makes me wonder how on earth they screwed this up -- did they look at a map and guess at the street? Very weird.

Even weirder, when I left the post office, I went to Starbucks to try to redeem my free coffee from my health insurance, and the barista said they had no hot water. How was this possible?! Something about a machine being broken, but they couldn't do an Americano (which is made with the espresso machine) or a filter coffee (which is made with a drip coffee maker). So it sounds like two machines were broken. Maybe I'll try again today if I get motivated.


Here are the chrysanthemums I carried home from Queen's Park on Sunday, along with some cyclamens I got at Homebase a few weeks ago. Aren't those nice-looking mums for £3.50?

Yesterday at work some fifth-grade boys, both library enthusiasts who have started their own book club (!), found an immense volume of Norman Rockwell paintings in a back corner. One of them discovered from the lack of date stamps that it had never been checked out, and when I showed him another stamp indicating the library got the book in 1975, he couldn't believe it. (I'm sure 1975 seems like prehistory to him.) He borrowed it just to proudly tell his friends: "We're the first people to check it out!" And then he flipped through a few pages and returned it, because I'm sure he wasn't interested in lugging home a 12x17-inch book that must weigh 20 pounds. Kids are funny.

(Top photo: Salusbury Road, Queen's Park, on Sunday.)

15 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

In order to help your school pupils transport heavy tomes home, may I suggest that the library explores the possibility of drone transport? Then - just as the youngster arrives home - the library drone will deliver the heavy book - avoiding potential muscular or skeletal injuries which might result in legal action.

Colette said...

That is a long time for a book to sit on a shelf.

Vivian Swift said...

Do those middle school kids know who George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are? Because they are huge collectors of Norman Rockwell. I wish I'd had the brains to buy in the '80s when you could get a Rockwell for relatively cheap. Now he's hot and you have to fork over millions for one of his Saturday Evening Post covers. About $15.4 million, to be exact.

Check that book. If it's a first edition, it might be worth something. And it sounds as if it's in pristine condition.

37paddington said...

Norman Rockwell was an interesting dude, a lot more socially conscious than his Saturday evening post covers suggest. Apparently his editors there had instructed him not to include black people in his pastoral scenes of middle america, unless they were depicted in positions of servitude. In the sixties he left the magazine to join Look, where his editors were far more progressive. He painted his famous "The Problem We All Live With," to commemorate the bravery of little Ruby Bridges with US marshals on either side of her as she integrated William Frantz Elementary school in Louisiana. I love that painting. If I recall correctly, Obama had it hanging in the White House during his tenure there. If your library is ever getting rid of that book, I will pay you to ship it to me!

Ms. Moon said...

Your flowers are beautiful, Steve.
As to your dream- well, let's just say I would gladly have traded the one I had for having cartoon characters tattooed on my calves. Not a good night for dreams here in Lloyd.
Norman Rockwell's images must seem like a completely different world to those kids. I mean, his pictures were already nostalgic when he painted them.
Very mysterious as to the misaddressed card but at least you're getting it to the proper person.
Starbucks being out of hot water is not just mysterious but suspicious. Did you try asking for a cold brew? Haha!

ellen abbott said...

I had a very weird dream involving following convoluted trail marked by dashes or arrows or other weird markings that wound in and out of huge buildings and park space and all manner strange places trying to get to the end (which I'm not even sure what the end was or what the purpose was) before the group of guys that were hot on our tail (me and two other women). never did get there. if I hadn't woken up I imagine I would still be following this weird trail. and I don't blame the kid for turning the back back in right away. glorified and unreal depictions of American life back when. I guess that's where the Republicans are trying to take us.

robin andrea said...

Really so kind of you to track down the sender of the card and get the right address. Love reading about that Norman Rockwell book and the students' interest in it. I like knowing that young people are curious about things that don't require them looking at the phones in their hands. 37paddington's comment made me look up "The Problem We all Live With" painting. I had no idea. So grateful for new the things I learn everyday.

Sharon Anck said...

What a weird dream you had! And, I love the story about the Norman Rockwell book. That is a gorgeous plant you purchased. It's so full and healthy looking and down-right beautiful.

Red said...

Kids are what keeps you going.

The Bug said...

I'm laughing at Beavis & Butthead - so funny! Did you ask Dave why he did that to you? :)

Love the mum! Definitely worth the money.

Catalyst said...

Maybe your calves were sore from lugging home that huge mum and your dream state converted that to cartoon tats. Or maybe not.

crafty cat corner said...

I've done several Norman Rockwell jigsaws, I love them.
Briony
x

Linda Sue said...

Norman R. always makes me think of our scary toilet in the basement, my mother hung up two of his works to " cheer the place up". Never been enthralled with his work,except the times when he became political, I can see why the boy left it behind. I love your dream tattoos, that is hilarious!

jenny_o said...

Yellow mums are like a little pot of sunshine in November's gloom. I got one with periwinkle coloured blooms - it is surprisingly bright, almost glows.

Elizabeth said...

Such a sweet story about the young boys and the Norman Rockwell book!