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Edgerton _ who went on to write the memoir “The Unknown Rockwell: A Portrait of Two American Families,” about a farm boy growing up next door to the Rockwells _ modeled for his neighbor mostly as a Scout, with his image published in four calendars.

The last time he modeled was in 1964, after Rockwell had moved about 65 miles away to Stockbridge, Mass., now home to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Edgerton appeared as a Scoutmaster with his son, then 9, in a painting called “Growth of a Leader,” showing four profiles of a Scout progressing from a child to an adult with a graying sideburn _ much like Edgerton has today.

“He was a wonderful guy,” Edgerton said. “He made you feel you were the most important person in the world when you were doing it.”


Hill reported from Bennington, Vt.