Mary Doyle Keefe, model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” poster was a symbol of power for American women on the homefront during World War II.
Last Tuesday, Keefe passed away in her home in Connecticut at the age of 92. Her daughter told the press she suffered from a brief illness before her death.
Keefe met Rockwell in her hometown of Arlington, Vermont. At age 19, Keefe worked as a telephone operator. Rockwell paid her 10 dollars to sit and model for the painting for two sessions.
The image was featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943.
Keefe was petite as a teenager, so Rosie’s burly figure is mostly the product of Rockwell’s artistic embellishment.
“Other than the red hair and my face, Norman Rockwell embellished Rosie’s body,” said Keefe in an interview in 2012. “I was much smaller than that and did not know how he was going to make me look like that until I saw the finished painting.”
Keefe received a letter from Rockwell twenty-four years after she modeled, telling her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and apologizing for the burly body in the painting.
“I did have to make you into a sort of a giant,” he wrote.
The painting was used in the 1940s as propaganda to sell war bonds. Today, the painting is on display at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
According to an obituary, Keefe graduated from Temple University with a degree in dental hygiene, worked as a hygienist in Vermont where she lived with her husband of 55 years, Robert Keefe. The two had four children together. Keefe spent the last eight years of her life in a retirement community in Connecticut.
This week, 45 student actors and technicians from Forest Grove High School will present a play to combat cyber bullying through Project UNIFY Productions.
Project UNIFY is a movement stemming from Special Olympics of Oregon (SOOR) that works to create an inclusive environment for students with and without intellectual or physical disabilities throughout Oregon schools.
The inspiration for the play is Megan Meier, a teen from Missouri who committed suicide three weeks before her 14th birthday. Her tragic death was attributed to severe cyber bullying from her classmates.
Educational assistant director of the Project UNIFY Productions program, John Anderberg, surveyed English classes at Forest Grove, asking students to share their experiences with cyber bullying. Anderberg developed a script for the play based on topic discussions from the students.
“We had the shell of the idea,” said Anderberg. “We always tried to keep it in their words, to make it relevant for them.”
A total of 45 students asked to be a part of the production.
Anderberg split the students into teams. Each team was given a task relating to the play’s production and performance, and each individual was given a personal assignment.
“This way, with 45 students, each gets more individual one-on-one time,” saidAnderberg.
Performances take place April 23 and April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Forest Grove’s Ellen Stephens Auditorium. Admission is free, but audience members are encourage to donate money or canned food to the school’s backpack program to support homeless and low-income students.
Chris Pratt is already known for being a superhero to kids in need, as shown by his #TwitterBowl bet with Chris Evans. Twelve year old Joe Henson’s family recently announced that with Pratt’s help, they have raised over $92,000 for Joe’s fight against brain cancer.
In June of last year, Joe was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor, three years after his father died in a car crash. Joe has since undergone brain surgery, but lost his voice following a tracheotomy.
Joe’s mother Angela recalled that just before his surgery, Joe repeated a phrase his father taught him: “Fear isn’t real, it’s all in your head.”
After his surgery, Joe still returns to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore once a month for chemotherapy.
Some friends of Angela, Jay and Melanie Selway, launched a GiveForward campaign called “Fear Isn’t Real: Helping Joe Henson” in order to help fund Joe’s treatment.
Since Jay grew up with Chris Pratt’s wife, Anna Faris, he contacted their family to ask Pratt to promote the campaign via social media.
Just before the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy” in July of last year, Pratt sent out a tweet that read: “To promote something more important,” with the link of Joe’s GiveForward page. Joe’s family designed “Fear Isn’t Real” t-shirts to sell as a fundraiser. Pratt encouraged followers to respond with photos of the t-shirts and the tag #FearIsntReal.
“Donations just exploded,” Melanie said in an interview. “I let everybody know that we were selling the T-shirts … and [Pratt] grabbed onto that, all on his own. We sold 300 T-shirts in two days. It was insane.”
As of last week, the campaign has raised nearly $92,000 and sold 3,200 shirts.
Although the campaign has been successful, Joe’s recovery is still a struggle. Angela remains hopeful, but her primary goal is to secure care for her son.
“He has lost the ability to do things that we all take for granted: talking, swallowing, breathing on his own, holding up his head, sitting up, even moving the left side of his face. Joe came to Johns Hopkins with the ability to do everything that we can all do and the surgery has taken all of that away from him,” she explained.
“Knowing that kind souls, from my friends to Chris Pratt, [are] rallying behind Joe is quite overwhelming. I will be forever grateful to everyone involved in getting Joe better.”
P.B. Jams sandwich shop owner Ashley Jiron, 30, received national fame via Instagram for a note she left on her restaurant window inviting a local dumpster diver inside for a complimentary lunch.
The note read: “To the person going through our trash for their next meal, You’re a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster. Please come in during operating hours for a classic Pb&j, fresh veggies, and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked. -Your friend, the owner.”
Jiron went outside and noticed that the restaurant’s dumpsters had been scavenged.
“I had gone to the back to go put some trash in the dumpster, and I had noticed that some bags and containers with food were emptied and gone through,” Jiron said. “Immediately, of course, my heart sank, and I knew I needed to do something about it right away.”
For Jiron, the sight of someone’s disparity was personal.
“I am a mother of two little girls and I’ve struggled like a lot of single parents out there, and I’ve had to ask for state assistance food stamps and such,” she said. “Sometimes at the end of the month there wasn’t enough to feed me and my family. Something as simple as even just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is very comforting to somebody and maybe even offer them a few words.”
Nobody has yet come into the shop to request the lunch offer. Jiron plans to leave the sign up until they do.
“It really hurt me that someone had to do that,” Jiron said. “I think we’ve all been in that position, where we needed somebody’s help, and we just needed somebody to extend that hand. And if I could be just that one person to extend that hand to another one human being, and make their day just better then I’ll definitely do it.”
In Oregon, the count of homeless men, women, and children in Multnomah County alone is near 4,000 individuals. The number of people sleeping outdoors, in shelters, in cars, or other temporary housing is estimated to be four times the official count.