“Honestly, I just wish there were more of Rockwell’s America.”
I get strange looks whenever I say this, followed by “Whose?”
Those interested in art, like myself, know Norman Rockwell as the artist who captured portrait after portrait of our United States. He painted children, adults, couples, teenagers, grandparents, and everything in-between, perfectly portraying the dynamics of our culture and relationships. His pictures make viewers long for something simple, memorable, and authentic. He highlights the memorable and mundane of both small-town life and city living. He inspires us to cherish our American life.
When I use the phrase “Rockwell’s America,” I’m referring to a state of living where we would choose the porches in front of our houses over the red carpets in California. Playgrounds over amusement parks. Sidewalk chats over hurried texts. Time with people over time online. Friends over “friended.”
Please, turn off your cell phone and go for a walk. Ride your bike if you want. Bring your little sister. Your neighborhood might not seem like anything amazing, but it’s your home. It’s the place you’re growing up. It’s the place you’re going to remember.
Stop by the library, where I am right now. They’ve got books like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. Books on leadership and do-it-yourself and scenic drives through – where else – America. Books on “The Most Beautiful Libraries in America.” (Guess which one is on the cover. It’s in Washington, D.C.) Ask the librarian where to find books on Bigfoot. If librarians aren’t quintessential American culture, I don’t know what is. And heaven forbid you leave without the largest Calvin and Hobbes collection you can find.
Go to the swimming pool. Host a party. Read the comics. Respect the men in uniform. Know where your local barbershop is. Shop at the thrift store – it saves money. We live in America. We are surrounded by beauty, and we will miss it if we forget to look.
(see slideshow below)
Please comment and tell me where you see Rockwell’s America.