Like Barney Gallagher, the longtime Haverhill Gazette editor and champion of Haverhill's cultural history. Or beloved teacher Frances Cole Lee.
The mural also contains some whimsical touches and subtle references to the city's history that will reward close study of the artwork. There's a shortnose sturgeon, the prehistoric fish that travels up the Merrimack to spawn in Haverhill waters each year. A deck of cards spilled on the floor of the theater with the 5's of each suit turned up represents the card game 45's, a peculiar passion of the Merrimack Valley.
The mural is an instant landmark for downtown Haverhill. "Something the entire community should be proud of," said Tim Jordan, co-chairman of the mural project.
The volunteers who made it happen, at virtually no public expense, deserve credit and thanks.