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Mass. Trooper In Norman Rockwell Painting Dies

May 08, 2012  | 

Photo: Wikimedia
Photo: Wikimedia

The Massachussets trooper depicted sitting at a diner with a young boy in Norman Rockwell's iconic painting, "The Runaway," died on Sunday at 83.

Richard Clemens was a 29-year-old trooper when Rockwell asked him to pose for the painting, reports the Boston Globe. Rockwell showed him leaning down toward the boy with a red knapsack on the floor behind him.

"I don't think Rockwell could have chosen a more appropriate model,’" said Mary Blaauboer. "It's a symbol of police officers and how they help people. But it symbolized my father as a person, too. It showed his heart, and his whole life."

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

Big Easy 593 (Ret.) @ 5/8/2012 7:15 PM

Rest easy,Trooper Clemens.Thanks for your many years of service.

God Bless.

WIRanger @ 5/8/2012 7:35 PM

Actually rather saddened by this. God speed Trooper Clemens.

Jeff Nicholas @ 5/8/2012 8:24 PM absolutely awesome pic that made me see Police in an entirely different light. This pic was a primary contributing factor to me becoming a Policeman. This Trooper will be sorely missed.

Morning Eagle @ 5/9/2012 12:24 AM

I remember seeing this painting when I was a youngster but at the time did not know Mr. Rockwell had used a real Trooper as a model. Even so I was well impressed by its message. Rest well Trooper Clemens, I hope your long life was all good.

Frank @ 5/9/2012 5:05 AM

Iconic! This depicts the best days of America. The civil days with no major international issues foreign countrys. When you go let you children out without K9 protection until the street lights came on. A time when you go walk from Boston to LA without being mugged, raped, kidnapped, or sold to another family. Those days are gone. We are now a sea of Cultural Divesity that has basically changed the landscape of this great country the good old USA. I ask you! Are we really better off in 2012 then in 1955?

glladd @ 5/9/2012 6:27 AM

Frank, Cool your jets Buddy. It's a loss of a Brother Officer, not time for a Tea Party. Take a deep breath and pray for comfort for Trooper Clemens' family. I'll say one for you. GL

Mike @ 5/9/2012 6:31 AM

I have always loved this painting. Thanks for your service Trooper Clemens.

Marc Kovacs @ 5/9/2012 6:50 AM

My absolute favorite painting. I have several of this, painted, crosss stitched, etc. A sad loss for us and a true representation of what we all should stand for. Rest easy trooper and may your family take solace that you are now patrolling a safer beat.

RJ @ 5/9/2012 7:41 AM

It's been hanging in my front hall since I took the oath 25 years ago.

RIP. Trooper & Mr. Rockwell

Dano @ 5/9/2012 8:05 AM

I have had a copy of this painting on the wall of every office I have ever occupied duirng my 35 year career in law enforcement. Farewell Trooper Clemens. God Bless.

Mary F @ 5/9/2012 8:09 AM

Thank you, Trooper Clemens, for your service and may you rest in peace. God bless you and your family. Thank you, Mr. Rockwell, for your wonderful painting of a trooper interacting with the runaway child at a diner.

Frank @ 5/9/2012 9:41 AM

@glladd Your correct! Sorry, my intentions was to support a great MSP. I saw this poster/picture all over the State for years. Trooper Clemens represented a different era. Great job Trooper Clemens!

KayMad @ 5/9/2012 12:30 PM

This painting has been a favorite since art school. As a cop it took on an entire new meaning. A copy hangs at the entrance of our home.

gduffey @ 5/9/2012 4:27 PM

Great painting of a time gone by, the image conjures many interpretations, Community Policing, neighborhood/beat cop interaction with youth in a small crisis, or time when our society was more social, not isolated today by electronic devices or fear of actual face to face interaction. I love the painting, Richard Clemens you live on through this painting forever, Thank you Troopah!

Mark Brewer @ 5/13/2012 1:45 PM

Rest in Peace. Trooper Clemens did more to humanize the face of LEO's than perhaps anyone. I have this as a figurine, lamp,clock the original Saturday Evening Post cover and a poster that Trooper Clemens signed for me about ten years ago and I saw the copy in Framingham back when the MSP academy was there. I was outraged when the American Bar Association parodied this artwork for a Rodney King story - hence I am no longer a member.

JIM @ 5/14/2012 9:02 AM

At 16 years old, after hitchhiking from NYC to Miami and then to Shreveport, I was sitting in a diner at 3 AM. An elderly (to me) Cop came in and sat next to me. Spent the next three hours in the station house waiting for my uncle, who was stationed in Barksdale AFB, to wake up. The Cops were great! Over 60 years later, after 34 years in NYPD, that picture sill brings back the memory of those decent caring men.

Mark F. Vinette @ 10/28/2012 5:48 AM

I first met Dick Clemens when I was around 15 years old when I lived in Pittsfield. He was huge and such a nice gentle giant. What a nice man. Later on when I went into police work he was my friend and colleague. I hadn't seen him in years and am saddened to hear of his death.

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