Natural speed please
Norman Rockwell's The Runaway appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published on September 20, 1958. This is a timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a true classic for the ages.
This classic Norman Rockwell painting depicts a policeman and a little boy sharing the lunch counter at a diner.
No details were overlooked by Rockwell: stools, counter-top, coffe pot, cup, sugar dispenser - even the radio mounted on its shelf on the wall. Television was very new when this was painted. Radio was how people stayed up on current events.
The only character whose entire face we can see is the man in white behind the counter. He looks amused at the situation unfolding before him.
The largest character is, of course, the policeman. He is the blue uniformed authority figure in this painting. In addition to clothing part of his uniform, Rockwell spares no detail on his accessories. We see his pistol, his handcuff pouch and his citation book. I am unsure what the pouch attached to the shoulder strap is.
The cop looks less amused than the man in white. He is affecting a professional demeanor toward the situation.
Sitting high off the floor on top of his green topped stool is the runaway himself. Is he engaged in a staring contest with the cop?
He has apparently just left home. His clothes are still neatly tied inside his red bandana and fastened to his stick. The jeans and t-shirt he is wearing still look neat and fairly clean. He is not wearing his jacket; it is laying in his lap.
Did the boy bring money to buy lunch with? The man behind the counter has his hands clasped and seems to be waiting for an order. Spagetti and meatballs is the "SPECIAL TODAY."
In this illustration, Norman Rockwell treats us to three characters and their surroundings, the local diner and depicts in a humouristic way a child’s whim for freedom. This iconic image recalls the innocence of a bygone era. Having packed up all of his worldly possessions in his neatly bundled knapsack, the boy has set out on his quest, stopping at a diner for some sustenance. A police officer sits next to him and smiles warmly at the boy, earnestly asking him to reconsider his departure.
This painting is definitely cherished by all Americans!