When I worked on the Saying Grace puzzle back in December 2019, I discovered a log of puzzle completion written inside the box top:
Based on the written log, this Saying Grace puzzle has been in the family awhile! I actually think it came to us from my Grandma and Grandpa Yoder’s game cupboard, though I am not sure of that. In any case, the first entry on the box lid is my sister’s handwriting. And then my dad posted two entries. And then sometime in 2019 he must have brought the puzzle north to me because the next two entries are mine. (Discovering the log on this puzzle lid is what started my current practice of writing the date, the location, and the status of pieces when I finish a puzzle.)
When I finished the Saying Grace puzzle this week, I looked closer at the extra piece that I had noted on the lid back in December 2019: “All pieces + 1” and I realized it probably belonged to the other Norman Rockwell picture puzzle that I have in the closet and so I went looking…..
Confident I had solved the mystery of the missing/extra puzzle piece, I assembled Going and Coming to prove it. In the end – no missing pieces for either puzzle.
There is text printed on the bottom of the Going and Coming puzzle box. It is text reprinted from the August 1947 issue of the Saturday Evening Post:
Telling Details — Norman Rockwell has used these two panels to effectively tell us quite a bit about the folks on this particular expedition. The age of the car and the size of the family tell us that this family has known hard times.
Another comment on the age of the family car comes from this video clip: This family has held onto the same car for 14 years. They are not a family that can afford to take a lot of vacations.
One more bit of trivia regarding the car (found here): Rockwell photographed several automobiles for Going and Coming, but the one he wanted was driven by his mail carrier on his rounds. One day he met the man at the mailbox and told him to go up to the house where something awaited him. There the postman found a check for twenty-five dollars for the use of his car, which Rockwell had meanwhile taken to be photographed.
In my very surface-level, two-puzzle-inspired investigation of Norman Rockwell’s art this week, I am intrigued by the very real and specific details he worked from. The quote from Norman Rockwell which is highlighted on the biography page of the Norman Rockwell Museum website states: “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.“
I enjoyed this short video reflection from Bud Edgerton, the real-life grandson of Rockwell’s model for the stoic Grandmom in the backseat. Edgerton says of his real-life grandma, “she looks like she was weaned on a pickle…..that’s the way Grandma was.“
One last note – one of the Norman Rockwell Museum curators in this video said, “One thing that Rockwell always loves to include is the family dog.”
All that said –
Here we are Going and Coming with the family dog in our 13 year-old family car (overnight at Eklutna Lake, September 2018):
Smiles both ways!
And fun memories made in between.