209 – Day in the Life of a Little Girl
Cover illustration for Saturday Evening Post (August 30, 1953)
Oil on canvas
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] This is a day in the life of a girl. The story starts up in the left corner, where she’s sleeping.
[LEONARD] I had to bring my pajamas,… And I remember Norman just said to me, now, show me how you stretch before you get out of bed in the morning.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] That’s Mary–she’s all grown up now. She was ten or eleven when she posed for this painting.
[LEONARD] The next picture, you’ll notice, I am fixing my hair, ….I was a little bit nervous about that, because I had never combed my hair or braided it. My mother always did that, … So that was not an easy picture for me to do….
Then I’m off for the day, I’m eating my banana in a great charge with my bathing suit. … and in the ‘50s, a little girl had to wear a bathing cap when she went swimming. ….
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] Follow the story along the second row.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] That boy is Chuck, Mary’s brother’s best friend.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] Go to the last picture in the second row.
[LEONARD] Chuck and I are now having lunch together, and Chuck is feeding me a hot dog. And there really was a hot dog.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] I took the bite out –and it was raw! Now, look at the third row.
[LEONARD] Then we’re off to the movies, ….
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] When they leave, Chuck decides to ask Mary to a party.
[LEONARD] So I go home and I jump into the tub. ….
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] In the next row, Mary gets ready for the party.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] At the party all those kids really demolished that cake. They weren’t acting.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] Now, look at the last row.
[LEONARD] We’re coming into the most serious, difficult pose of the day.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] I asked Chuck if he had ever kissed a girl–
[LEONARD] –And Chuck said no. He asked me if I had ever kissed a boy, and I said no. … and if you really look close in the picture I think you might see that it’s not quite taking place. There’s a little space in there.
[NORMAN ROCKWELL CHARACTER] Then, Mary went home and got it all down in her diary.
[LEONARD] And there in the next picture I am saying my prayers. And then you will see at the very end of the day, I am where I started out, sound asleep.