Piute County School District,

The world's fastest camera can make trillions of frames in a single second. They can film a bullet in flight or even light entering a room in perfect focus. As a comparison, your iPhone captures video at 30 frames per second. Before video cameras, visual stories frequently had to be told in a single frame or single painting. When you look at a single frame, you have to interpret the rest of the story based on the clues given in the frame. Perhaps no artist was more skilled at telling a story in a single frame than Norman Rockwell.

Norman Rockwell painted over 4,000 original paintings. Just one of those originals sold in recent years for over 46 million dollars. Many filmmakers created movie scenes that were inspired by his paintings. Some scenes from the film Forrest Gump can be clearly connected to scenes painted by Norman Rockwell. He painted commissioned portraits of four United States presidents. 

One of Norman Rockwell's great paintings was titled “Breaking Home Ties.” The painting shows a father and son seated on the running board of their truck. The son is clearly waiting for a train to take him off to college. The son is excited, sitting up straight, and looking forward. The father appears downcast, hunched over, and looking back. The family dog is also morose with his head on the son’s knee. 

The longer you look at the painting the more you understand the relationship between the father and the son. The father holds his hat and his son’s hat, suggesting his desire to be helpful. Despite extra room on the running board they sit with their knees touching, suggesting a very close family connection. The son holds an unopened package, perhaps things sent along by other family members. The blue collar and worn hands of the father suggest work that will be more difficult without the young son. The whole scene suggests a family sacrifice to send their son to more school.

This scene was painted in 1954. If Rockwell was alive and able to paint a similar scene today, he might use different props and clothes, but the emotions and story might be much the same. Thursday we’ll bid farewell to another group of great students and send them off with all of our best wishes. They’ll start a new adventure and so will we. Our greatest adventure should always be our next one. 

Thank you for making this school year the best school year yet and I look forward to an even greater adventure next year with all of you.  

Have a great Monday, a great final week of school, a great graduation night, a great Memorial weekend, and a great summer. Take care in Week 39 and beyond,


Week 39 Norman Rockwell 

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