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"Norman Rockwell's autobiography..." Topic

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608 hits since 10 Feb 2011
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2011 2:50 a.m. PST

I picked it up for $1 USD at Half-Price Books, and I must say that I'm thoroughly enjoying it! It's really quite funny and includes stories of his childhood (like the weekend he was paid a dollar a day to stand too close to the "wild woman" cage at a carnival so she could grab him and gnaw on his foot as a means of helping the barker draw a crowd for the act), or his time in the Navy during WWI (he wanted to enlist but was 17 pounds underweight, so an old art school buddy at the recruiting station (and the doctor) force fed him 7 pounds of water, doughnuts and bananas so he could gain 7 pounds for the weigh in -- the doc could write an exemption for 10 pounds, but not for 17).

There's also stuff about his models, his work habits, other illustrators, and other tales from his youth (like the time he and a friend naively rented studio space in a building that -- to the horror of two 17 year old boys from respectable families -- turned out to be a brothel).

I picked the book up on a lark, and am REALLY enjoying it. It's a lot like reading prose versions of Will Eisner's Dropsey Avenue stories, or some of the material from "A Contract with God."

Definitely one of the best bucks I've spent in a long time. By the way, if you look it up, you'll find that it's mostly text. It does have some illustrations, but mostly it's the stories. Tomorrow I'm hoping I can find on of my several Rockwell books so I can go back and look up some of the paintings and illustrations that he mentions in passing.

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