Norman Rockwell Lives!

You might want to take a look at Matt’s Basement Workshop Podcast by Matt Vanderlist. Ocasionally he features posts from my “Design Matters” blog. Today there is an entry on proportions originally posted on March 29th. Until I break down and upgrade my old foot operated laptop, I’m opting for Matt to make the recording, I wish I looked as good as he sounds. The following article is off topic but too good not to share. I’ll get back to woodworking in my next post. Note, the light was fading and I know the pictures are a bit blurred. Sometimes life doesn’t wait for the perfect pose.

Norman Rockwell Lives!

This can’t be good, I thought to myself. A red fire and rescue ambulance pulled in the neighbors drive, an elderly couple with some health issues. My heart sank even further when I stepped out the door to see a ladder truck pulled in behind the ambulance. Waves of dread washed over me as I picked my way though the flower beds between our yards. With all the 24/7 broadcasting of natural and man-made disasters, it’s hard to resist fearing the worst. Immediately I noticed neighbors converging on an adjoining back yard.

The "gang" nervously awaiting the outcome

What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks. This is not supposed to happen anymore. Like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. Maybe I’m too cynical; this is the Midwest after all. People still take their hat off when a funeral procession drives by, and neighbors leave grocery bags of tomatoes and zucchini on your back stoop. We have a neighborhood gang, their names are: Bobby, Charley, Katy, Zachery, and Lilly, ages 6,4,5,6 and 2-1/2.

            Bobby’s cat was up (again) in a tree and the fire fighters came to the rescue. The gang huddled in a tight knot at the base of the ladder, their eyes absolutely riveted on the  firefighters. Big Bird had nothing on these guys. Parents and neighbors gathered in the background offering moral support. Molly and Penny, a pair of golden retrievers sat together in the grass like a couple of statues, perplexed at all the fuss over a cat. The firefighters themselves looked a little sheepish. I wonder if they weren’t inwardly relieved that this call wasn’t something much worse, yet still nervous a crew member might get hurt rescuing a cat, impossible to live down back at the firehouse.

            Somehow it all worked. The cat allowed the burley fireman to extract her from a branch, with only a few nervous mews as he backed down the ladder. Squeals of delight and handclaps from the gang. Bobby and cat re-united.

Bobby and cat re-united

            I hope the fireman report this as a training exercise. If not for them for Bobby, Charley, Katy, Zachery, and Lilly. They watched every move. They learned how adults should behave. Actions that will stay with them much longer than words.

            A complete success. The crew carefully backed the trucks out, making sure they didn’t run over cat. The gang will sleep well tonight.

Mission acomplished, the gang will sleep well.


About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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One Response to Norman Rockwell Lives!

  1. Fantastic story George. Reminds me of my grandparent’s small Iowa town. No more than 30 people in that village. They cared for my grandmother as is she was family, checking in on her several times a day, expecting nothing in return.

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