Hanks: Norman Rockwell’s America
Gentle readers, as a young man I always looked forward to seeing the Saturday Evening Post magazine as it usually had a Norman Rockwell painting for the cover.
Even way back then, I wished that I could someday be the artist that Mr. Rockwell was. I wanted to be able to create something that would warm other’s hearts as my heart was warmed by his paintings.
Mr. Rockwell painted our neighbors, relatives and folks that we would see almost everyday and I, for one, felt the need to be in one of his paintings.
Man, that feller was one artist with an unusual talent for drawing folks (no pun intended) to his work. I truly miss Norman Rockwell and I miss Norman Rockwell’s America.
Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, recently said while speaking at a Baptist church in North Carolina that, “Norman Rockwell’s America had vanished.”
Mr. Graham listed a good many reasons for his opinion, none of which I will share here other than a couple. This is not the format for such political discussion as it can be divisive.
He did mention political correctness and moral decay. I agree. He also thought that there might be a way to bring back the America that I think most of you miss. And that is individual acts of defiance and massive displays of civil disobedience.
“The cocker spaniel is off the front porch and the pit bull is in the back yard,” says Mr. Graham. Enough said I reckon.
I think Rockwell’s America began to disappear about the time of the situation in Vietnam. The war began in 1955 and we didn’t get involved until later.
Later was when we began to see the “Jesus look” in many of our young men. The long hair, sandals, loose fitting clothes and maybe going for days without bathing. It was the drug and dropout culture that began to stick it’s ugly head up.
The Timothy Leary acid trips and mind-altering experiments was the new world that too many young folks got involved in. Even I, as a young man in my 20s, was concerned to see the changes taking place and the fear and discord beginning to emerge in Norman Rockwell’s America.
There has always been discord in our country. Heck, even the cattleman and sheep men fought and killed one another over pasture land and water ways. Then again, I have personally heard old ranchers on the western slope of Colorado tell me that if it wasn’t for having some sheep along with their cattle at times they would be broke today!
Is there a way to work it out at present? I watch the news every day and I see nothing but lies and more lies. I see transparency tossed out the window, but I reckon that’s the way it’s always been and I refer to John Kennedy’s assassination. I think that in some places we still can find Norman Rockwell’s America in some diner in Dalhart, Texas, or some pharmacy in Colby, Kan., or a truck stop somewhere in Nebraska.
Even here in little Wellington, Colo., I have witnessed a family sitting outside our little ice cream and pizza place on main street at a table having ice cream with the family dog tied to the leg of the table, getting a lick of ice cream from one of the kids.
Folks, that’s Norman Rockwell’s America. We just cannot let it slip away without putting up a fight! Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, stand up for Rockwell’s America and quit “whimping out.”
I’ll c. y’all, ally’all.❖