Cover Collection: Kids and Doctors

These classic Saturday Evening Post covers show what happens when you mix kids and doctors. Results may vary!

Kid being examined by a doctor
Doc Mellhorn and the Pearly Gates
Norman Rockwell
December 24, 1938

This image by Norman Rockwell accompanied a Stephen Vincent Benét story, “Doc Mellhorn at the Pearly Gates.” The image beautifully captures the relationship between doctor and patient. Shortly after its appearance, Upjohn commissioned Rockwell to create a series of advertisements for them.

Baby getting his first shot. Parents look on tensely
Baby’s First Shot
Richard Sargent
March 3, 1962

This scene will surely touch a responsive chord in every parent. The idea was suggested to artist Dick Sargent by Post readers Walter and Barbara Jackowski of Danville, Illinois, shortly after they had taken their baby, Stanley, for his first shot. Small Stanley put his parents to shame too, for he continued to gurgle and smile throughout the Terrible Ordeal. Sargent tells us that hundreds of readers have sent him suggestions for covers, but this was the first one he was able to use.

Doctor examining a boy while his mother looks on
George Hughes
February 27, 1960

Small children, when committed to sickbeds, demand the comfort of a few favorite toys, and it’s the doctor’s job to find a patient amid the clutter. This boy recently squandered his life’s savings on two ice cream sodas and four candy bars, which proved to be at least one soda and three candy bars too many. Now he’s wondering if the doctor can learn the awful truth by tuning in on his stomach rumblings. Perhaps this doctor will inspire our young patient to be a physcian when he grows up — and his stomach settles down.

Boy getting his shot in the doctor's office
Before the Shot
Norman Rockwell
March 15, 1958

The young model for this painting was Edward F. Locke of Stockbridge, MA. The photo below shows Norman Rockwell writing him a check. The doctor was the actual town physician in Stockbridge — Dr. Donald E. Campbell. “He’s a fine, dedicated doctor,” said Rockwell, “who seldom sleeps.” Incidentally, Edward didn’t really get a shot from the doctor, only from a camera.

Norman Rockwell and a boy.


Kids in a hospital waiting room
Separation Anxiety
Stevan Dohanos
September 3, 1955

All of the children seem completely delighted to be at this doctor’s office, except for the one little girl whose name was just called. No amount of books, toys, and playmates can fool her; she knows what’s next.

Doctor making a housecall. Giant, fluffy dog is close to his face.
Doctor and Dog
Richard Sargent
November 21, 1953

Our furry friend is planning to either bite the doctor for causing pain to his little master or lick his mustache; there’s no way of knowing which way it will go. Old-fashioned, pre-needle doctors were the smart ones; they prescribed a treatment and departed forthwith, leaving mother holding the spoon, the dog, and the kicking patient.

Doctor making a house call
Sore Throat
J.C. Leyendecker
November 22, 1930

Everyone seems concerned in this situation, the dog most so. Let’s hope it’s nothing too serious. While penicillin was discovered in 1920, it wasn’t used widely until 1942.

Doctor, a child, and a doll.
Doctor and the Doll
Norman Rockwell
March 9, 1929

This 1929 cover is one of the most beloved of all time. If you’ve ever had to wait in a doctor’s office, you’ve probably had time to study this scene. The “doctor” was model Pop Fredericks, who had ambitions of becoming an actor, a dream that never quite panned out. But Pop was immortalized on Post covers if not the stage. Rockwell used him as a model time after time. He appeared on the canvasses of the great artist as a cellist, a tourist, a politician, Ben Franklin, Santa Claus, and, of course, one of America’s most beloved doctors.

Norman Rockwell Visits a Family Doctor
April 12, 1947
Norman Rockwell
Click to Enlarge

This was one in a series of paintings Rockwell completed in the 1940s, including “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor” and “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country School.” For this painting, Rockwell portrayed his home town’s family physician, George A. Russell. In this room he heard a quarter century of troubles, and delighted Rockwell by an occasional shrewd bull’s-eye diagnosis. “The only trouble with you,” he told one woman during the cool Arlington summer, “is that you have too damn many guests.”

News of the Week: Norman Rockwell, New Network Names, and National Moldy Cheese Day

Norman Rockwell Painting to Be Sold

Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor Norman Rockwell May 25, 1946
Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor
Norman Rockwell
May 25, 1946

What would you do with an extra $10-15 million?

That’s how much the National Press Club expects to get when they sell the Norman Rockwell painting “Norman Rockwell Visits a Country Editor”. Rockwell painted the picture for the May 25, 1946, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell gave the original painting to the club in the early ’60s, but the board of directors discovered that the painting’s value had increased so much that it no longer made sense for them to hold on to it, due to insurance and security costs. They want to sell it to pay for various programs they have.

For the past year the painting was on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It’s now at Christie’s, where it will be auctioned off on November 19.

ABC Family Is Now … Freeform?

It’s not uncommon for some cable channels to change their name. TV Guide Network became Pop; Discovery Health became OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network); HDNet became AXS; and SOAPnet became, of all things, Disney Junior. But at least those names made sense. I’m not sure about this one.

ABC Family, which airs shows like The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars, is changing its name to Freeform. But it actually isn’t the first name change for the channel. It started in the late ’70s as CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network), then it became The Family Channel, then Fox Family Channel, and then ABC Family in 2001. The new name launches in January.

But I’m not really sure what Freeform is even supposed to mean. The channel says they’re doing it to attract younger viewers, because I guess younger people like … free- form jazz? Yup, that’s what I hear all the kids like these days, Snapchat and free-form jazz. They probably could have named it Pickles, and it would have made as much sense. But #Freeform makes for a snappy hashtag.

Tom Hanks Finds Student I.D.

Is there any limit to how nice Tom Hanks can be? (Answer: No.)

The Bridge of Spies star found the I.D. of a Fordham University student in Central Park. Now, a lot of people would have just left it there or given it to someone else to worry about, but Hanks himself tweeted a picture of the I.D. and gave the student, Lauren, a heads up that he had it:

The senior has been talking to many media outlets, including CBS and E! Online and revealed that she doesn’t even have a Twitter account. But one of her teacher’s saw it and showed it to her. According to E!, Lauren has contacted Hanks via his Facebook page but hasn’t heard back yet. She has already spent $20 on a new I.D. but hopes to get her money back when she gets the old one from Hanks (or as he signs his tweets, “Hanx”). Let’s hope she actually gets to meet him and also gets an autograph and picture taken with him.

Everything Old Is New Again


You know you’re getting old when they start remaking TV shows that were on when you were an adult.

We already know that Full House is coming back (as Fuller House on Netflix) and Boy Meets World became Disney’s Girl Meets World and a new X-Files will hit Fox in January, but now we’re going to have a new version of the ’80s action show MacGyver too. The director of the pilot is going to be James Wan, who helmed Furious 7 and was trying to get a big-screen MacGyver made for years. Henry Winkler, who co-produced the original will also be on hand for this one. Since it’s CBS I’m sure it will have to follow a certain formula, so expect MacGyver to be paired with a sexy female partner and they banter back and forth. Also, there will be forensics involved. Let’s hope that Richard Dean Anderson gets at least a cameo in the new series. Maybe he can be the dad to a new MacGyver like John Wesley Shipp plays dad to a new Flash.

If that’s not enough nostalgia for you, 20th Century Fox is doing a reboot of The A-Team; CBS is updating Nancy Drew (this time she’s an NYC cop!); and Fox is doing a series based on Lethal Weapon, which makes sense because, well, every action show on TV seems to be a version of Lethal Weapon. ABC is doing a TV version of the John Candy movie Uncle Buck, which already had a short-lived TV version in 1990 with Kevin Meany. So I guess this is a reboot of a remake (though I’m sure they hope you don’t remember that first TV version).

If they’re taking requests for shows that should come back, may I suggest Sports Night?

Hey, What Happened to the Mary Tyler Moore Statue?

Back in April we told you about the odd Lucille Ball statue that was scaring people because it looked more like a character from The Walking Dead than America’s favorite comedienne. Now comes word that TV Land’s statue for another sitcom icon has been removed.

The statue of Mary Tyler Moore that was standing at the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis since being created by TV Land back in 2001 is in storage. It shows Mary in her famous “throwing her hat in the air” pose from the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But it has been in storage since construction began at the mall earlier this year, and so far there are no plans to bring it back once construction is completed. TV Land doesn’t want to move it to another location and the network says it’s going to stay in an undisclosed storage facility until the mall is finished in 2017. But the mall is going to have its own design and artwork and there might not be a place for it.

I don’t understand why the city and TV Land can’t find a place for the statue of someone who is probably the most famous citizen to ever live (fictionally) in that city, but if they can’t find a place I’ll happily take it off their hands. It would look great next to my television.

Today Is National Moldy Cheese Day


A day to celebrate moldy cheese? Why not National Stale Potato Chips Day or National Stuff You Left in the Back of the Fridge and Now You Don’t Know What It Is Day? Actually, mold is an important part of some cheeses, especially cheese like blue cheese, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds (here are recipes for Stuffed Celery and Festive Fall Salad, both of which include blue cheese).

But the name. The name is what gets me. Couldn’t we just call it National Cheese Day?

No, because that’s June 4. Not to be confused with National Cheese Lovers’ Day, which is January 20. Got all that?

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Columbus Day (October 12)
The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited on Columbus Day in 1892. Read about how the pledge has changed, and the story of its author.

Thanksgiving Canada (October 12)
In the U.S. it falls on the fourth Thursday in November (thanks to FDR), but for our neighbors to the north, turkey day is always the second Monday in October.

Nikita Khrushchev’s speech at the U.N. (October 12, 1960)
Read about the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis — includes a link to 1962 article from the Post covering the Cold War as it happened.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower born (October 14, 1890)
You’ve always wanted Eisenhower’s recipe for barbecue sauce, right? Here it is.

Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier (October 14, 1947)
The retired brigadier general and pilot (nicknamed “the fastest man alive”) is 92 and has an official website.

P.G. Wodehouse born (October 15, 1881)
I’ve always wanted to read more of this celebrated British author. This Random House site dedicated to Wodehouse is a good place to start.