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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Norman Rockwell’s “New Kids on the Block”

This December, Phyllis Monk from Crete Historical Society dropped by the 1950s Park Forest House Museum with a very special gift.  In November, she had been to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachussettes.  She saw "New Kids on the Block," which had a label telling how it was painted for the Look Magazine article of May 1967 written by Jack Star on integration in Park Forest.  Mrs. Monk was not aware of the history of the painting.  She exclaimed to a museum volunteer that she lived near Park Forest.  She was introduced to another volunteer, Wray Gunn, who posed, along with his cousin Tracie as the models for the African American "new kids."  Mr. Gunn sent a note to the society on a postcard of the painting.  For those of you not familiar with the painting or the article, you can see a framed copy, donated by Myrtle Martin, which hangs in the lobby of Village Hall.  The postcard can be seen at the museum, near the sign in book, for now.  The article ,along with photos of Len and Yvonne Robinson who were discussed in the story, was used as text for the "America on the Move" exhibit att the Smithsonian Museum.

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