Hundred Mile Stare

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Tue May 4 13:22:16 UTC 2004

In a message datedMon, 3 May 2004 10:28:20 -0500,  "Joyce, Thomas F."

>  This and similar variations have become cliches for facial expressions
>  of trauma victims.  Any pointers to their historical orgins?

>From LIFE Magazine, sometime during World War II.  LIFE printed a painting
made by one of their artists.  If I remember correctly, the title was "Marines
call this the 'Thousand-Yard Stare'", the subject of the painting was a Marine,
and it was painted in the South Pacific.

You may be interested to know that the original is hanging in the Pentagon.
I seem to recall it is one of the LIFE Magazine paintings hanging on the third
floor, either 5th or 6th corridor.

            - James A. Landau

Aside on pouring coffee in a saucer:  in Alaska I once saw an absent-minded
waitress do that.  Putting any liquid in a saucer is likely to have someone
ask, "Are you leaving it out for the LIttle People [leprechauns]?" which suggests
there is a long-shot possiblity of an Irish connection.  Note that pouring
coffee into a saucer to cool, while it may be hick, is a very practical action
(cultured people presumably would rather scald their mouths), but putting peas
on a knife is preposterous.

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