Skip to comments.Trooper immortalized in Rockwell print dies
Posted on 05/08/2012 9:10:23 PM PDT by massmike
A retired Massachusetts state trooper, immortalized in a famous Norman Rockwell portrait as the wise and caring cop giving good advice to a little boy, died in his home state of New York over the weekend, state police said.
Staff Sgt. Richard J. Clemens Jr., who posed in 1958 for Rockwells famed painting, The Runaway, died Sunday at age 84.
The painting of a trooper bending over in counsel to a young boy intent on leaving home captures much more than any of the images of shootouts and car chases favored by popular culture the highest ideal of police work: helping someone in need at a vulnerable moment, Col. Marian McGovern said.
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...
Sgt Clemens, R.I.P. Coincidentally, I have the Rockwell calendar courtesy of the Paralyzed Vets of America and that pose is for March 2012.
Mom has that one hanging up at home.
Consider that the kid in the pic is now a senior citizen.
Norman Rockwell, the standard of domestic America before the sleaze rolled in.
I was a classmate of Ed Locke, the little boy, in the second grade in 1958 in Stockbridge, MA. It was a magic place as can be seen in Rockwell's many Stockbridge scenes with Stockbridge residents as models.
I believe that that cafe in the painting went on to be “Alice's Restaurant.” I had the honor of being stopped for speeding down the Stockbridge Main Street by Officer Obie himself...right in front of my father's office window...and given a only a warning.
BTW, my father, a pastor in a Stockbridge church, was asked by Rockwell to persuade the mother of the little black girl in the famous painting with the “n-word” to permit use of her daughters image after she saw the word and had withdrawn her permission. She was a member of his church and was descended from a soldier who had fought in the Massachusetts regiment featured in the movie “Glory,” IIRC. In my memory I can still see my father and Rockwell discussing the matter on the front walk.
I will be forwarding this story to family and friends, thanks to you!
Norman Rockwell >>>>>>>> ANY modern “artist”.
Speaking of immortalized, Eddie Locke, the little boy, is also the model that got his butt immortalized in the scene in the doctors office where he is awaiting a shot.
I got shots in that office, too. The MD (whose back is immortalized, I suppose) is Dr. Donald Campbell and you can even see his name on the diploma on the wall in front of Eddie’s nose, if you have big print of the painting.
“Nice work if you can get it!
Yeah,,, except for about once a week or so,, when the guy behind the counter wouldn’t do his job for any price.
wish we lived in THAT America...where cops and teachers were respected.....loved even....
“Consider that the kid in the pic is now a senior citizen.”
Providing that he didn’t get killed in Vietnam.
And if the Mass. SP are anything like the Connecticut SP....he had full private use of his cruiser...therefore didn’t pay any property taxes on it, maintenance or fuel costs.....He also had clothing/cleaning food allowances....in the last three years before his retirement he padded his take home average with overtime pay....and had full medical dental plans for himself and his wife.
On our way home to Conn. from a weekend in southern VT, we always stopped at the historical society in Stockbridge. Every time, Norman and Molly were there fussing over the exhibits...they were charming to talk with. Norman was interested in hearing what *you* thought of his paintings and why. :)
OMG a lunch counter, my first officially paid job was behind one of those in a People’s Drugstore.
I was born in a 'burb of Boston in 1948. I awoke around '53 or 4.
I ran away when I was somewhere in the 8 or 9 age area and I remember my older brother ( 14? 15? )had a cop stop the Mueen Mary I was on because he suspected I had taken a joy ride to Dedham, but had to turn around and come back to where I started (It's complicated unless you understand 1960's Boston area public transportation)
(A queen Mary is the yellow/orange trolley of the time)
Anyway .. I love Rockwell's art and his ability to capture about 95% of my childhood.
I too loved, Rockwell and the idealistic America he depicted.
The New England we grew up in was of stay-at-home moms, sandlot baseball, and neighbors who knew you and homemade apple pie.
The cop depicted [RIP] probably knew you *and* your parents.
The America we have evolved into, is one that has cops padding their retirement, children being snatched from their homes and families desperate to cling to the *American Dream*, that is broken at every turn.
Yes, I'm angry, skeptical, jaded and disappointed. "I painted the way I would like life to be." ~N. Rockwell.
I can hope and dream. I miss Rockwell's America.
I think one of the hardest elements of getting older is the difference between memories of then and the reality of now.
Thanks for understanding knarf.
I’ll bet that ride on the *queen Mary* cost a nickel. :)
With "transfers", you could (and when we got older .. DID) travel all day, all over Boston, north and south shore (Y'had to be a little creative and clever) ...
for a nickel
Maybe it was a dime at that time, I forget.
Thank you for saying it! Well said. Norman Rockwell captured a lot of what is good in America.
That painting captured what America was supposed to be about. Officers were people to look up to and respect and you could trust.
Now days, the “thin blue line” bull and the attitude that pervades our law enforcement shamefully destroys any trust and respect that our police may have once earned.
The police state mentality that has been jammed up our backsides over the last few decades has helped to create the divides that are now coming to fruition. Cops are no longer trusted, but looked upon with anger and distrust. Cops are no longer our friend and someone to count on, they are a revenue collector for the town/county/state.
Today, cops demand a respect that they have not earned. The days of respecting law enforcement has been long gone and I fear will never return after things like Fast and Furious. Law enforcement is a disgrace to very ideals of our nation.
Rockwell immortalized something that politics has destroyed forever. Look at the criteria for hiring someone as a cop in the 1950’s vs. today. It’s frightening.
Yesterday I realized with horror that I couldn't find my wallet. I looked high and low. Unusual circumstance... it had a lot of money in it.
As I searched for it, I began to form the suspicion that I'd left it at the automated check-out machine at my small town's grocery store. Small town meaning ~8000 households.
I drove down there to report it missing. They had it. All the money was in it.
When I got home I put 1/3 of it in an envelope and took it back there in an envelope, with a thank-you note enclosed. Should be enough to pay for their annual employee picnic, if they have one.
My point is that Rockwell’s America exists today as it did in his time, in individual Americans who do the right thing when no one is looking.
Like any society, America is a mixture of types, very good to very bad. One big difference between America, though, is that the average person doesn’t have to think about the national government here very much unless you want to. Of course, if you decide to live your life with your lips fastened to the government teet, you’ll probably be thinking about the government quite a bit. That’s your choice though, and no one forces you to live that way. In lots and lots of countries — most, I guess — you’ve got no choice at all. It’s the government teet or nothing.
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