‘Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed.’ Norman Rockwell
There is a, magic, to the paintings of Norman Rockwell. His capturing of the world that he grew up in depict a, marvelous expectancy, when illustrating the joys and mysteries of Christmas.
I catch myself jumping up to see if the Fed Ex truck or the UPS delivery person…is delivering a Christmas gift to my home!
‘Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, Rockwell enrolled in art classes at the New York School of Art (formerly the Chase School of Art). Two years later, in 1910, he left high school to study art at the National Academy of Design. He soon transferred to the Art Students League, where he studied with Thomas Fogarty’s instruction in illustration prepared Rockwell for his first commercial commissions. From Bridgman, Rockwell learned the technical skills on which he relied throughout his long career.’ Norman Rockwell Museum
I remember my friend, Steve and I, driving to Eldorado, Illinois to celebrate Christmas with my mom and stepfather. This was during the first years of my venturing out on my own…with no money and, seemingly, less prospects. Steve had a 1940’s Chrysler and we had Christmas melodies on the radio.
I had a painting that I had purchased for my mom…from Down’s and Son Furniture store in Elkville…where I was employed as a furniture delivery assistant and warehouse person and store custodian. At the time I believed the paining to be the most beautiful that I had ever seen, and my benevolent boss, David, sold it to me at cost and let me pay it off at $5 per week.
Mom had her foot tall Christmas tree, erected, and coffee cake prepared and she welcomed us with the joy of the season.
In those days…coffee…was the strongest holiday drink that we indulged in, and mom woke up Steve by announcing for him to, ‘Hit the deck you rubberneck!’
Then…you knew that it was Christmas!
Or, our first Christmas Eve service at First Presbyterian Church, that had the atmosphere and the ambiance and the mystery of a Dickensian Christmas!
Mary Jane and I were speaking with our friend, Brenda, earlier this week and we commiserated about the vagaries and challenges of, installing a live Christmas tree in your home.
When we first moved…to what we still call…the new house…in 2001…we swore that we would either place a cut tree or a live, Christmas tree in our home…each Yuletide season.
One of our first years, at our Carbondale address, we traveled with zest and holiday determination…to the local nursery and bought a, majestic, live Tree!
Now, the plan was to store the tree in our garage until we were able to place it in a number 3 washtub and install it in a place of significance and focus…in our Great Room!
We were advised to not have the tree, erected, for more than two weeks…to prevent it drying out.
The other half of the master plan for the, Glorious Tannenbaum, was to plant it in our front yard…and to watch it grow for many years…
The day that I began to dig the hole to plant the, first of many Brooks Christmas Trees, the ground was frozen…as is often the case in winter…
Finally, the hole was dug and the, giant root ball, of the holiday beauty, was placed in its forever home.
When I asked Mary Jane and Aaron and Jonathon to come outside to observe and, hopefully, marvel, over my handiwork…Mary Jane commented that it appeared to be leaning…
For a half dozen or so…Christmases…I faithfully placed Christmas lights on my Tree…and noticed that, each year, it seemed to lean…a bit more?
Note: Downloadable Rockwell photos are courtesy of Google search.