Steve Haggerty’s memories of vacations in Vermont in the 1960s and ’70s conjure images worthy of Norman Rockwell paintings. There’s a reason: Some of them literally were Rockwell paintings.

“Norman got his models, most of them, within a two-mile area,” Haggerty said, referring to Arlington, the southern Vermont town where Rockwell lived and created his much-loved magazine covers between 1939 and 1953.

By the time the Haggerty family arrived in 1961 to spend summers outside Arlington, Rockwell had moved south to Stockbridge, Mass. But many of the locals who’d posed for Rockwell’s best-known works, including covers for the Saturday Evening Post, remained, and some are still around. Haggerty came to know Rockwell’s models as townsfolk and neighbors.