I was a classmate of Ed Locke, the little boy, in the second grade in 1958 in Stockbridge, MA. It was a magic place as can be seen in Rockwell's many Stockbridge scenes with Stockbridge residents as models.
I believe that that cafe in the painting went on to be “Alice's Restaurant.” I had the honor of being stopped for speeding down the Stockbridge Main Street by Officer Obie himself...right in front of my father's office window...and given a only a warning.
BTW, my father, a pastor in a Stockbridge church, was asked by Rockwell to persuade the mother of the little black girl in the famous painting with the “n-word” to permit use of her daughters image after she saw the word and had withdrawn her permission. She was a member of his church and was descended from a soldier who had fought in the Massachusetts regiment featured in the movie “Glory,” IIRC. In my memory I can still see my father and Rockwell discussing the matter on the front walk.
I will be forwarding this story to family and friends, thanks to you!
On our way home to Conn. from a weekend in southern VT, we always stopped at the historical society in Stockbridge. Every time, Norman and Molly were there fussing over the exhibits...they were charming to talk with. Norman was interested in hearing what *you* thought of his paintings and why. :)