Janet Cooper, Harris' mother, had already made her way to the front of the crowd and returned with a note signed by Chiklis after he realized who Cooper was.
"Sweet Keri! Come see me," he had scrawled.
Harris waited until the crowd dwindled before she made her way over to Chiklis, who greeted her with a hug as Cooper ran up with a camera.
"See how happy he was!" Cooper said as they walked away.
Anne Marie Yastrzemski, who graduated with Chiklis, said the gathering was like a reunion for her classmates. She said the day was a nice tribute to his Hollywood success.
"We always knew he would be something," she said. "He has that kind of personality."
Chiklis described the experience as "overwhelming" as friends mingled with strangers who just wanted to shake the hand of their favorite television character.
One fan looked at him with sad eyes, lamenting that this will be the last season of "The Shield," but Chiklis promised her she would love the seventh season, which starts Sept. 2.
Chiklis has an upcoming movie with Shia LaBoeuf called "Eagle Eye." He said he also has an independent film in the works that he's "really excited about," but his wife shook her head when he wanted to talk about it.
"Not yet," Chiklis said.
He planned to fly back to California last night, taking with him his complementary Andover T-shirt, an Andover High School football cap and a key to the town so he won't forget where he came from.
Chiklis promised to prominently display the key in a frame in his office — not quite next to his Emmy and Golden Globe, but near them.