Around the World with Norman Rockwell
by William C. House III
My dad's story ends in Hong Kong. Fortunately there are lots of pictures to tell the Hawaiian part of the story. And since they are Norman Rockwell pictures, they are very informative and entertaining. Below are six individual shots setting up the huge two page ad above. It looks like he used the same Hawaiin in all 4 positions in the canoe. There is an additional shot of Diamond Head that I haven't included here which was used by the artist as well.
Mr. Rockwell wasn't quite satisfied with some aspects of the couple in the outrigger, especially the bag, so he had my dad pose for both, wife and husband, in Florida. He put him in a Hawaiian shirt and stuck a pillow underneath. The shirt my dad is in, as well as the new bag (with the flying strap), made it in the final ad above.
You can't have an ad in the fifties and not have hula girls. The scene on the right, immediately below was in the ad on the first page.
Looks like the ladies got a real makeover. The caption reads: "Hawaii is a real fun and sun land. Here I am sketching at Waikiki ... surrounded by distractions."
And finally, my two favorite shots of the whole trip, my dad and Norman balancing the model on a surfboard.
Needless to say, none of these found their way into any ads.
© William C. House
Next, Part Six: Life Imitating Art
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