1944: Norman Rockwell’s tattooed sailor

“Rockwell used a neighbor, Clarence Decker, as the sailor.  Decker was ‘Master of the Grange’ in Arlington, and shows up in quite a few other Rockwell illustrations. 

“The Tattoo Archive received an email from Ross Mosher, who is the great, great nephew of Clarence Decker, the sailor model for The Tattooist, which read–

“Clarence didn’t have a single tattoo in real life.  Also the last name on his arm is Betty– that’s because my great, great aunt Belle told Norman that if he put her name in the painting, she wouldn’t speak to him ever again.  So Norman crossed the L’s and added a Y.””

- The Selvedge Yard

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