The Rockwell Files: Pain in the Rear

Almost everyone has scene the iconic Rockwell illustration of the boy about to get a shot at the doctor's office. But did you know Rockwell struggled with how "cheeky" it should be?

(Norman Rockwell, © SEPS)

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In a physician's office, a boy prepares to recieve a shot while inspecting the doctor's credentials on the wall.
The fine print: Still time for a quick review of his doctor’s bona fides in Before the Shot, which appeared on our March 15, 1958, cover. (© SEPS)

When Norman Rockwell was planning this iconic Post cover, he spent a certain amount of time considering how much of the boy’s derriere to show.

Too much cheek would be considered rude, and too little wouldn’t be funny. He discussed it with friends and family and finally settled for this half-up, half-down compromise.
Later that same year, the same young model, Eddie Locke, would pose alongside a state policeman for Rockwell’s Runaway cover.

As an adult, Eddie was asked what his boyhood friends thought of his modeling for the Post.

“You know,” he replied, “when you’re sitting with a police officer, that’s one thing. When you’re posing with your pants down, that’s quite another.”

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  1. Mr. Nilsson,

    I am a senior citizen and a college sophomore (really!) I am doing a field period internship at the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum in Hammondsport, NY. One of our displays in the Children’s Education area of the museum is a wooden seaplane and it’s original box is labeled Uncle Bernie Toy #719. I have searched the internet for information on this toy or any information on Uncle Bernie’s Menagerie toys, to no avail. I finally found information leading me to the December, 7, 1957 issue of The Saturday Evening Post which features an article on Uncle Bernie’s Menagerie store in Hollywood, CA. I am hoping you will kindly provide me with a copy of the article for our display. Thank you for your consideration. Marylou Bondi

  2. Hopefully it wasn’t TOO much of a pain for this kid Jeff; probably was more for Rockwell. In the uptight-about-EVERYTHING present though, this innocent cover would have all kinds of @$$#@(&$ with “issues” on it, finding it “offensive!”


    “What’s the matter with Norman Rockwell?! First that mermaid cover, and now THIS? How could he?! Gloria Allred will have to be called about that poor girl, and a good attorney in Salem, Ma. about this poor boy! Immediately! The POST itself is no innocent 3rd party either in this disgraceful disgrace, and must be held accountable as well!”


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