Archive - May 20, 2013

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Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)

Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)

Memory and history are tricky. So tricky that it’s amazing that history gets anything right, even a matter as seemingly uncomplicated as a minor moment in Peace Corps history. In April this year nearly 30 RPCVs from the Ethiopia II training group that served in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1963-1965 met in Florida to catch up with what was happening Ethiopia — and with each other.  At one point someone recalled the visit that Norman Rockwell made to Ethiopia to do some sketches for a project he was preparing for Look magazine on President Kennedy’s legacy. “Right,” I blurted out, “Rockwell slept in my bed.”  As everyone laughed, I explained that when Rockwell came to Debre Marcos, the town where I was teaching along with seven other PCVs, we made plans to turn over some of our rooms to the Rockwells.  Debre Marcos, you’ll understand, was not renown for four star . . .

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