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Model for Norman Rockwell’s ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Dies at 92

rosie-riveter

Elahe Izadi writes: You know Mary Doyle Keefe, but maybe not by that name. In 1943, the then-19-year-old telephone operator had been called upon to provide a unique kind of service during the war effort: Become the face of dedicated patriotism from the home front.

“I didn’t think much about it, and I didn’t really see myself as some epitome of the modern woman. There was a war on, and you did what you could. And in a small town like Arlington, it was simply a matter of we knew he was a painter and asked a lot of people to come down to pose for his pictures.”

Norman Rockwell painted Keefe as “Rosie the Riveter,” an image that graced an iconic Saturday Evening Post cover and “became a symbol for millions of American women who went to work during World War II,” according to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

“I didn’t really make anything of it and didn’t really see it or realize what would happen to that picture until it came out.”

Keefe, 92, died in Connecticut this week after a brief illness, her family told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

How Keefe’s likeness came to be immortalized — and turned into a symbol of female independence — happened rather serendipitously. Rockwell and Keefe were neighbors in Arlington, Vt., and he often asked folks in the community to pose for his work.

The 1943 oil on canvas painting “Rosie the Riveter” by Norman Rockwell is displayed in Bentonville, Ark. (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art/AP

The 1943 oil on canvas painting “Rosie the Riveter” by Norman Rockwell is displayed in Bentonville, Ark. (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art/AP

“He liked to paint from photos, so his photographer took pictures of me, just posing me different ways and telling me to look this way or that.”

During a 2012 interview with the Hartford Courant, Keefe recalled how she returned for a second photo session because Rockwell asked her to model in a blue shirt and loafers. She was paid a total of $10.

“I don’t remember the photographer telling me to have any kind of attitude on my face, but I’m 90 and don’t remember.”

“He liked to paint from photos, so his photographer took pictures of me, just posing me different ways and telling me to look this way or that,” Keefe said. “I don’t remember the photographer telling me to have any kind of attitude on my face, but I’m 90 and don’t remember.”

[Real-life ‘Rosie the Riveter’ women share their stories and philosophy]

The resulting image — of “Rosie” with a rivet gun on her lap, sandwich in hand and “Mein Kempf” beneath her feet — didn’t quite resemble the 19-year-old. Keefe, who told the Courant she had never even seen a rivet gun before, was petite, contrasting with Rosie’s large biceps, broad shoulders and large hands.

“Other than the red hair and my face, Norman Rockwell embellished Rosie’s body,” Keefe told the Courtant. “I was much smaller than that and did not know how he was going to make me look like that until I saw the finished painting.”

Rockwell sent Keefe a letter 24 years after completing the painting, apologizing for bulking her in size “and calling her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen,” the AP reported. “I did have to make you into a sort of a giant,” he wrote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Number of People Listed as Missing in Washington State Landslide Rises to 176

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, Washington (Reuters) – The number of people listed as missing from a devastating Washington state landslide that has killed at least 14 people rose on Monday to 176 from 108, Snohomish County emergency management director John Pennington said.

landslide

“The 176 I believe very strongly is not going to be a number that we’re going to see in fatalities, I think it’s going to drop dramatically,” Pennington said, adding that there appear to be duplicates in some of those people reported missing.

Read the rest of this entry »


Naked Woman Shows Up to Visit Husband in Arlington jail, Joins Him, Police Say

Maura-FussellThis makes me think the The Shamrock Crawl can lead to more cherished memories than I realized. It’s a tradition I underestimated. As they say, “Virginia is for Lovers”.

For the Washington PostTom Jackman reports:  What do you get when you cross love with a pub crawl in Arlington? Why, a naked woman (allegedly!) outside the Arlington County jail, of course… From ARLNow.com:

A 26-year-old Reston woman was arrested Saturday night after allegedly showing up naked at the Arlington Magistrate’s Office.

Police say Maura Fussell arrived at the magistrate’s office around 11:00 p.m. seeking to visit her husband, who had been arrested in Clarendon earlier that day. She was drunk, completely naked and refused to get dressed or leave in a cab, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Sternbeck was unable to say whether Fussell arrived at the office wearing clothes and subsequently removed them, or whether she arrived there naked. Fussell was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and drunk in public. She was held in jail until sober, police said.

The woman “was given several opportunities to put her clothes back on,” Sternbeck said, “exit the magistrate’s office and go home in a cab. But she refused and took the charges,” which meant spending the night in the county jail.  Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] McCauliffe and Obama Hold Rally in Virginia, Tea is Served

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 03: Supporters for Republican gubernatorial candidate for Virginia Ken Cuccinelli protest outside a campaign stop of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington-Lee High School November 3, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. President Barack Obama participated in the event with McAuliffe as the campaign urged Virginians to vote on Tuesday.

The Sign Reads: Obama lied. Your insurance died. Your Doc is gone. What more could go wrong??? Terry McCauliffe could be governor.

The Gateway Pundit