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Rosie the Riveter

2015 is the 20th anniversary of the publication of my book, “Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II.” Just learned today of the death on Tuesday of Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell’s “Saturday Evening Post cover “Rosie,” (Not the Riveter, just Rosie, because the men who wrote the song threatened to sue the Post.) I still have the tape of the fun phone interview I did with Mary who gave me great details, e.g., Rockwell had her switch shirt colors, change her shoes, etc. Rockwell method was to paint from a photograph that he would cut apart and use as a model.  So, Mary told me, she “didn’t have to sit a long time.”  Shortly before she saw the cover, Rockwell called her to say: “I’m sure you’re not going to like what I did to you.” How did you reply, I asked Mary, “Oh, being a 19-year-old girl,” I said, ‘Oh, that’s Ok.'” I sent Mary two copies of my book: One autographed from me to her & one for her to autograph and return to me, which she did.  I still have it.

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