PURE HEART II

PURE HEART II

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

 

I couldn’t resist taking advantage of these iconic images for this day of Thanksgiving. So here we have Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978), one of America’s most beloved artists, left a timeless legacy of nostalgic, endearing, whimsical paintings that appealingly and insightfully depict simple, and often idyllic, scenes from daily life. After illustrating a series of children’s books at age 16, Rockwell was hired to be the art director of “Boys’ Life,” the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Six years later, he sold his first cover to the most prestigious magazine of the era, the “Saturday Evening Post.” Over the next 47 years, he created 321 covers for the “Post,” which became synonymous with his name. He later worked for “Look” magazine, addressing more serious issues of civil rights, poverty and space exploration.

Refugee
Refugee

rockwell woman&soldier

Catch the turkey.

Cousin Reginald was both Rockwell’s scapegoat and his hero in the early covers painted for The Country Gentleman.

Cousin Reginald
Cousin Reginald

In all Rockwell painted fifteen covers featuring Cousin Reginald and related characters. This was the sixth in the series. Cousin Reginald was always having misfortune caused by his unfamiliarity with “country” ways. This Thanksgiving painting is no different. We know that the turkey will eventually be caught, subdued, processed and eaten. But we do not know what toll Thanksgiving will take on poor Cousin Reginald. We do not know if he will even want to eat the turkey after this trauma.

norman rockwell Socks.-ad

 

Rockwell’s turkey-hunting pilgrim from Thanksgiving 1922 is an ad for, of all things, Interwoven Socks. Our guess is that the pilgrims weren’t blessed with this brand of men’s hosiery. According to the ad, though, Interwoven Socks were something to be thankful for.

Read more: http://www.best-norman-rockwell-art.com/norman-rockwell-life-magazine-cover-1921-11-17-pilgrims-progress.html#ixzz2leUD2EzT

Where would America be without our beloved Norman Rockwell? What are your thoughts?

First Thanksgiving 1621

First Thanksgiving 1621

Wherever you are, have a blessed Thanksgiving.

SECESSION

SECESSION

Welcome to Parkersburg, WV

Welcome to Parkersburg, WV

P1070185

Paddle boat on the river in Parkersburg

Paddle boat on the river in Parkersburg

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My mind is wrapped around the civil war with my hero and heroine, Rork and Leila, who are stuck right in the middle of it. They ended up on the Ohio River, on a steamer, trying to get to Parkersburg, a city that supplied critical provisions during the war, like transportation, oil and gas. I had an opportunity to discover the town when I visited my editor, Sandy Tritt, of Inspiration for Writers, Inc., and decided to poke around town before we left on our way to Nashville.

Ohio and . . . Rivers, Parkersburg

Ohio and . . . Rivers, Parkersburg

So, where is Parkersburg? Do you know what state it’s in? It was part of Virginia until the secession and then it became the thirty-fifth state, West Virginia. There wasn’t always a West Virginia, at least not until June 1863, when a group of citizens were determined to break away from the southern slave states south of this part of Virginia.

P1070226 P1070213 P1070205 P1070193According to David L. McKain’s book “The Civil War and Northwestern Virginia,” many voters favoring the Union felt intimidated by radicals favoring secession from Virginia. However, Virginia declared itself part of the Southern Confederacy and the Northwestern counties, not wanting to join that infamous cause had decisions to make. That’s when in May 1861, the area got bombarded by the Confederate troops and guerillas and burned the B&O Railroad facilities and bridges between Parkersburg and Grafton. Railroad President Garrett was forced to declare that the B&O would not carry Union troops.

Within days tens of thousands of union troops began to pour into and through Parkersburg and the city became a crucial route for transporting troops. The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad and the river steamers transported troops. I could see the whole town below as I stood on top of the hill in Fort Boreman Historical Park and saw the B&O train go by. This town has a long, wonderful history, but during this time of the civil war, the people were split in their views of slavery. Disagreements split families, marriages, brother pitted against brother, father against son.

Slaves escaping the interior of West Virginia could follow the Kanawha River to Point Pleasant. From there they could follow the Ohio River north to Parkersburg. Across the river from Parkersburg was the Ohio town of Belpre where a Col. John Stone acted as an agent for the railroad. Fugitives were hidden at Parkersburg by a black woman called “Aunt Jenny” until they could cross the river. The first school for blacks was founded in Parkersburg in the 1870’s.

Little did I know about this amazing state. It’s packed with history, has charm, has paddle boat tours and if you want a beautiful car trip, take a ride on route 78, anytime of the year, but especially in the spring or the fall. To get there, you will pass Shenandoah, one of the sites where civil war fighting took place.

Do you know your American history?

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