Friday, May 7, 2021

Nearly 70 years later, Norman Rockwell (and the Times) reunited

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Carrots do not want to be called carrots. He was vigorous about that during a mini-reunion that I hosted.

Carrot – Oops, Caroline Fabricant, now living in North Adams, Mass. – Norman Rockwell was one of the high school students in painting known as “the bright future in banking”. wrote About the last month. The article noted that Rockwell often asked neighbors in Stockbridge, Mass. What to do for him after moving there in 1953. Nearly 70 years later, one of them – Charlotte Sorenson, who now lives in Boulder, Colo. – had identified herself. She saw “Bright Future” in a newspaper advertisement for an art gallery that was selling it.

In the next-previous paragraph, I mentioned other students in the painting who also posed for Rockwell. The two boys who beat him were named Norman. And then to the left of the frame was a girl, a Ms. Sorenson remembered as a carrot. Perhaps, Ms. Sorenson said, it was because she had red hair.

Ms. Sorenson was out of touch with all of them, but I heard from Ms. Fabricant – Carrot – by email a few days after the article appeared.

He never turned his hair red, he said. The surname originated with the oldest of four sisters when they were children. She asked about powerful people with surnames, such as I. Lewis Libby Jr., a former Bush administration aide known as Scooter, apparently because he rode Scooty in his cradle as a child.

But about carrots. “Fabric” was actually a contraction of ‘Caroline Rotes’, “a phrase that was the oldest sister’s classmate” repeated “with great enthusiasm” until the pronunciation of the two words, Ms. Fabricant told me in the email that her hair was always Used to be brown. . She and the sisters remain in contact, and they called her a carrot until several years ago, when Ms. Fabricant asked them to stop. “I was in my 70s and just didn’t feel like a ‘carrot’,” she said.

She felt like reconnecting with Ms. Sorenson, and we arranged a zoom session.

He reminded of the sisters who called Ms. Fabricant you know-what-what. They laughed about a photo of the two of them that Ms. Sorenson had saved. The caption read “or just for fun.” Someone then wrote five words in blue ink – “I hope all the ways of life!” – and a signature: carrot.

They had seen each other once since high school. This was in the 1960s, when Ms. Fabricant lived in Italy and Ms. Sorenson lived in Switzerland. Ms. Fabricant recalled going to Lausanne to see Ms. Sorenson and her newborn daughter Kristen.

Ms. Fabricant said that when she returned to the United States, she became a teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, a photographer and a restaurant cook before working as an administrative assistant at New York City College.

Ms. Sorenson asked how Ms. Fabricant came into the article. She said she got an email from a sister who used to call her, um, carrots.

Ms. Sorenson did not remember that Ms. Fabrikant’s father, a pharmacist who had served in the Navy, bought the drugstore in Stockbridge with a partner shortly after World War II. “I served as a soda clerk at the time of the Rockwell painting,” Ms. Fabricant said, adding that she collected autographs from well-known clients to be discontinued, including playwright William Ing and Tennessee Williams.

“Rockwell was a frequent customer,” she said. “His studio was directly behind the street, behind a large picture window in the building. I can stand in the doorway and look at Rockwell’s studio. He was in and out all the time. “

Another regular violinist was Fritz kresler, Which Ms. Fabricant said often called her broker from the telephone booth behind the drug store. In a few days, he would order a strawberry ice cream soda when he hung up the phone and exited the booth. He said that for whatever broker would have given him the good news, it was his personal behavior.

In the article, I wrote that Ms. Sorenson was disappointed when she saw the painting in the Saturday evening post.

“It was just an advertisement,” Ms. Fabricant said during the online reunion.

“See?” Ms. Sorenson said, more to me than Ms. Fabricant. “She says the same thing. I felt a bit like it was an advertisement, and not only an advertisement but an advertisement for banking. “Then to Ms. Fabricant:” I’m glad you said the same thing. “

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