The faces of those that inspired Norman Rockwell - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

The faces of those that inspired Norman Rockwell

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BENNINGTON, Vt. - She's an American icon, the Rosie the Riveter artwork celebrated the women who worked in factories in WW2. But when then 18-year-old Mary Doyle Keefe posed for Norman Rockwell in 1942, she had no idea the impact it would have.

"No, I did not expect anything like this, but as the years went on, I realized that the painting was famous," said Mary Doyle Keefe, 'Rosie the Riveter model'.

Keefe and other models who posed for Rockwell during the 15 years he lived and worked in Arlington gathered at the Bennington Museum Saturday. They shared memories.

"I modeled for four boy scout calendars and I never was a boy scout," said James "Buddy" Edgerton.

But model Melinda Pelham Murphy admits, "This was my real babysitter."

And recounted their favorite stories about the iconic American artist for the over 100 attendees.

"And the whole thing was just pure delight," said Rockwell model Mary Whalen.

For them, coming to this event is like a family reunion.

"It's wonderful to come back to my roots, number one, and it's wonderful to see so many old friends," said Pelham Murphy.

The group has been getting together since 2010 to celebrate the work that captured American culture and was done right here in the Green Mountains.

"We think Norman Rockwell did some of his finest works back from 1939 to 1953 so we just thought it was fun to get together," said event organizer Don Trachte.

As the years go on, those who modeled for Rockwell tell us his legacy only gets stronger.

"And people write a letter and ask me ... would I send them a signature, my signature, so it still goes on," said Doyle Keefe.

Altogether almost 40 models attended the event. The group says they don't have a set schedule, but they have been meeting about every two years and they plan to do it again.
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