Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Drew is still in bed after getting sick during the night, and Blake was the first one up for once. This rarely occurs, and Drew usually has decided what he wants to watch by the time Blake arises. So, Blake brought me the remote, saying, "Whatcha want?", meaning, "Check the channel guide and tell me what my options are" I flipped on the guide, and saw that Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was on. I used to watch him when I was a kid so I put it on, just to see what Blake would think. He was playing on the floor with some toy cars when he heard Mister Rogers singing "Won't you be my neighbor?" He dropped those cars, and went right up to the television. He sat down in front of it, and hasn't moved since. He seems mesmerized.

I always liked Mister Rogers. He was a sweet, gentle guy. I did a Wikipedia search on him and found some interesting facts.

1. Remember how he always changed into a sweater at the beginning of the show? The sweaters he wore on the show were hand knit by his mother.

2. Mister Rogers often fed his fish during the episode. (I remember this!)

3. Apparently, Rogers had been driving the same car for years, an old second-hand Impala. Then it was stolen from its parking spot near the WQED studio. Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by local news outlets, and general shock swept across town. Within 48 hours, the car was back in the spot where he left it, along with a note saying, "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it!"

And my favorite:

4. During the 1997 Daytime Emmys, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rogers. The following is an excerpt from Esquire Magazine's coverage of the gala, written by Tom Junod:

Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, "All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence."

And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, 'I'll watch the time." There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, seven seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly, "May God be with you," to all his vanquished children.

More Fred Rogers info: HERE


Misty said...

I love Mr. Rogers. It doesn't play on our PBS station anymore. I wish it did though. He was such an awesome man.

Jennifer said...

This past weekend I saw a sweater at the mall that reminded me of Mr. Rogers. I pointed it out to Gil and he said, "Who's that?" Apparently, he was deprived as a child.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that brought tears to my eyes...remembering Mr. Rogers. He was amazing.
Peggy E.

Meleah the Mommy said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I grew up on Mister Rogers and I hope they are still showing him when my twins are old enough to watch a little TV. He truly shaped a portion of my childhood.

I just wanted to stop by and say hi! I was thinking of you and your boys this week because Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer was offering her bloggy giveaway carnival again. As the very grateful winner of your giveaway last time, I wanted to let you know that I very much enjoyed my starbucks gc, my ghiradelli chocolate, and I am still enjoying the yankee candle electric scent. Thank you again for your generousity. I actually pop into your blog and keep up on the your life and the boys antics quite often -- I just never remember to comment, because I am a bad little blogger like that. I will try to comment more in the future and just wanted you to know that I think of you and your kindness often.
Many blessings - Meleah
PS. I hope Drew is feeling better soon.