ELISE HU, HOST:
Norman Rockwell created an idealized world in his illustrations. Children innocently cross racial boundaries, a young runaway is befriended by a state trooper who you just know is going to convince him mom and dad really aren't so bad. Many of the models for these paintings were residents of Rockwell's hometown of Stockbridge, Mass. Last weekend, a number of them gathered for the semiannual model reunion hosted by the Norman Rockwell Museum. Ed Locke was 8 years old when he posed as that runaway schoolboy sitting at the lunch counter.
Today, Mr. Locke is 66 and still lives nearby. He told The Boston Globe he developed a lifelong friendship with Massachusetts State Trooper Richard Clemens, with whom he appears in that iconic painting. Trooper Clemens died four years ago. Museum curator Stephanie Plunkett explained Norman Rockwell's enduring appeal to The Globe. She said that people find joy. They find continued relevance in terms of the ideals that he represents with his work, especially now in a world that's very challenged. He has a sense of humanism that we're all craving.
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