03/14/2006: "new post at fMH"
Won't you be my neighbor?
Lines redux will be posted later in the week.
Thanks for all of your support thus far!
Won’t you be my neighbor?
By: Téa - March 15, 2006
(or how Fred Rogers conveyed what matters and what doesn’t in the real world)
Fred Rogers and I go way, way back–we’re friends from the old neighborhood.
The television visits we enjoyed together reinforced concepts my parents tried to teach me. I wasn’t alone, though, as he extended that neighbor relationship to anyone who would receive it. You may laugh (and many have) but Fred taught me more about the unconditional love of God than any earthly sermon could.
Fred Rogers is one of my heroes, and I’m not afraid to say it. I love how he used his show, his influence, to share with the rest of the world what really matters and what doesn’t matter.
What does matter?
caring for yourself
caring for your neighbor
caring for your neighborhood
regularly expressing love and concern
healthy expression of other emotions
learning something every day
taking good care of what we have
learning about the world all around you
where things come from/how they’re made
saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
What doesn’t matter?
race, gender, ethnicity in terms of value
race, gender, ethnicity in leadership positions
perceived and/or actual disabilities
Do you have any favorite moments, lessons or concepts gleaned from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood over the years? Any weird ones, like Neighbor Aber’s jungle polishing in one of the operas? What about other relationship-oriented children’s programming?
(I submit this in honor of the first fMh post)
48 Comments »
I’m another Mr. Rogers fan. There are still quite a few songs from the operas that are sung at my family’s house. Bubbleland is one of our favorites. While I can’t think of any particular lessons I learned while watching it, like you said, it always reinforced what my parents taught me. And I felt loved. Strange that that could happen through the TV, but it did. And now that I’m a mother, it’s one of the very few children’s programs that I actually want my children to watch.
What a great post.
Comment by Amira — March 15, 2006 @ 5:02 am
Bubbleland was also one of my favorites.
I remember that there was a mention of a bubble opera in an episode of Mr. Rogers that aired before the actual Bubbleland episode- and I was pretty obsessed with making sure that we didn’t miss it.
Comment by Mike — March 15, 2006 @ 6:00 am
Tea, I am just not understanding in what sense you consider yourself a feminist. Race, gender, and ethnicity in leadership positions don’t matter? Don’t you think it’s a bit of a problem if one race, one gender, and one ethnicity fills all leadership positions, with everyone else anonymous? Don’t you see that as an instance of problematic subservience and inequality?
I think I can understand how your high school critique of pregnant dolls that lost weight too quickly after giving birth was in some sense feminist, but all of the other things listed in your “feminist” category of “Tea in Three Acts” seemed to be chronicles of the environment in which you grew up, not of you yourself. What does it mean to you to be a feminist?
Comment by Andrea — March 15, 2006 @ 7:57 am
I named my blog (Hi, Neighbor) in honor of Mr. Rogers. I aspire to be a friendly face to all I meet because of him. I can smile at anyone, any time, and fully mean it.
And not that anybody asked me, but I consider a feminist to be someone who knows and believes that women are just as capable as men. I think a feminist is someone who strives to love herself just as she is and who encourages other women to feel the same. My gal pal Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
As much as some women want to deny it, there are some roles, some jobs, some positions in life at which men are better than women and women are better than men. A favorite saying of mine is “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Comment by SalGal — March 15, 2006 @ 9:08 am
Being a true feminist will show exactly what Tea wrote –race, ethnicity, and gender DO NOT MATTER. Isn’t that what the feministic society strives for? Complete equality?
BTW, salgal, I agree with your description of a feminist. I’m more like you…
Comment by cheryl — March 15, 2006 @ 10:13 am
I always loved the shows where he would go to factories to show how things were made. Of course, my favorite was seeing how a clarinet was made, I didn’t see that one until Collin was around. WOW, me watching it with my children. Oh, anonymous, don’t think Tea is not a feminist, she believes in a great deal of things, particularily in the matter of fairness. Frankly for me, because I have seen my father and my FIL loose jobs over no reason other than that they were getting “too old”, I think jobs should go to those most capable of doing the job, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, that would be the fair thing. Don’t think there aren’t quota’s, I know they say there aren’t, but my father was a human resource director, and he was constantly complaining that he had to hire someone that wasn’t qualified because of gender and ethnicity over some caucasian male that was more qualified. In fact when my father was laid off, they hired his secretary to fill his place, because she was a woman and HR is the easiest management position to put a woman. He tried for countless HR jobs in the company he eventually worked for in security, they would hire women. They told him he was too old and would retire soon. IT was interesting he stayed around alot longer than any of the women did because they would find other jobs shortly after hiring. Who had the staying power, the old, caucasian, male, discrimated against bacause of SEX, AGE, AND RACE, or the WOMAN!
Sorry, Tea for the rant on the beautiful well written post. I love Mr. Rogers just like you!
Comment by Tigersue — March 15, 2006 @ 10:13 am
I agree, there are some arenas where the best people to do what needs to be done are those who are better than others. The best example I have heard of this concept is the choir: who should accompany the choir? The person who can play the piano/organ. Who should sing bass? The people with the deepest voices–usually men. Who should sing soprano? The people with the highest voices–usually women.
Then there are arenas where differences persist, usually tied to opportunity. For the past 18 years, I have been associated with the military, which is probably the most integrated community in American society. My first supervisor as an officer was a black female, neither of which had any difference in her getting that position or making it harder for her to get that position. She got that position because she came from a middle-class family and gradutated high from her law school class at Notre Dame.
But even in the military, as integrated as it is, the differences are clear. Some of the finest officers I have met are female, and they are there because of merit. Of the few officers I have worked with that I would also be willing to work for, all but one or two are female. But, in my career field, at least, the officer corps is overwhelmingly white and male, and the enlisted corps is overwhelmingly black or female.
Granted, the military is an artificial community, completely self-selected. The last of the draftees have all retired years ago. From what I have been able to see, the color that makes the most difference is green, the color of money. Those who have had it have gone to college and are officers. Those who didn’t have it use the military to pay for college and are enlisted.
Why are there so few female officers? The difference between “combat positions” where women cannot serve, and “non-combat positions” doesn’t really come into play in the Air Force, where my experience is, since most officer positions are non-combat. The only answer that makes sense to me is that women see they have other, better options than the military. Yet when you check promotion rates, at least in my career field, women are promoted at a higher rate than men. The last time I looked at a promotion list where I could check differentials, the two biggest discriminators between those who were promoted and those who weren’t was that females were promoted at a higher rate than males, and those with advanced degrees were promoted at a higher rate than those without. So a female with an advanced degree had a better chance than anyone at making (at least) full colonel.
But I have known good, capable, female officers who have turned down promotions and left the service, also at a higher percentage than men. There are only two two-star general officer positions in my career field. It was an open secret that the most prominent female one-star general was the heavy favorite to fill the most recently open two-star slot. And she retired before she could even get nominated. If women self-select away from leadership possibilities in the most color-blind and gender-blind part of American society, it is no wonder to me that there are fewer women in leadership positions where color and gender bias is very real. Don’t just blame the lack of leadership positions on any real or alleged bias in the Church, Andrea. That answer is just too simplistic.
Comment by CS Eric — March 15, 2006 @ 10:32 am
Sorry for that rant. More to the topic, although I enjoyed Mr Rogers, my favorite growing up was always Romper Room. And I think I know why. At the end of the show, the pretty host (and it was always a pretty host) looked in her magic mirror and said hello by name to the kids she could see. One day she said my name! She could see me! And she said hello to me!
I was in love. Mr Rogers never said hello just to me, so he never got my full attention.
Comment by CS Eric — March 15, 2006 @ 10:40 am
Amira, SalGal, Tigersue–so glad to have other fans!
CS Eric, the rant and the inattention are no problem for me.
Andrea, I’d be happy to discuss the other issues with you on the other thread. As far as what I wrote on this one, my thoughts were on the ability aspect of leadership. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood showed all sorts of people in different leadership positions (both in the real world and in make-believe).
I believe wholeheartedly in what I wrote–if that doesn’t make me a feminist in your book, so be it. When it comes to leadership positions and leadership ability, an individual’s talents, skills, experiences and personality should matter more than any/all of the three categories I named.
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 11:08 am
I love Mr. Rogers! I think I love him even more as an adult as I did when I was a child. I cried when he died.
My favorite Mr. Rogers (as an adult) was the one in which he went to Picture Picture? (that frame on his wall that would show films) and showed various animals nursing their babies: cows, goats and such and at the end a human mother was nursing her infant. I had just had my first child and was dealing with all that goes along with breastfeeding in addition to my mother-in-law implying breastfeeding was for people who could not afford formula and wasn’t as healthy as vitamin and mineral packed formula. She came from a different era and actually believed that–frustrating! Anyway, just seeing breastfeeding portrayed on tv as a natural and loving thing validated the whole experience for me like nothing else and gave me a lot of peace.
As a child I loved watching Mr. Roger feed the fish and playing in the sandbox. Very soothing. There are few children’s television shows today that can match that sense of calm that Mr. Rogers Neighborhood had. I miss that. There was also a memorable segment on how crayons were made.
Comment by Wendy — March 15, 2006 @ 11:38 am
I heard a story on NPR about a young woman from China who came to the US to study. To learn English she would watch TV. She got into the habit of watching MR. Rogers. One thing that he taught her was that she was important. Something that she had never learned in China. As this young woman talked about Mr. Rogers, tears filled her eyes. It was through a childrens show that she began to learn self worth.
When I was younger, I watched the show mostly in anticipation of the Trollie (so cool ), but now that I am older I realize the greatness of the messages he brought to so many children. Yes, you are important, no matter who you are.
Comment by Ian M. Cook — March 15, 2006 @ 11:54 am
my memory has a lot to be desired, and while i can’t actually remember one thing about the show, i do remember loving it. it was so nice and mellow, not all hyper like other kids shows, and that spoke to me more than anything. it was like the show was just living it’s life, having a nice time, learning things… and that was enough. be happy with how things are. try to improve, but enjoy the journey.
i remember the cute little puppet town, and trolley!! trolley was my favorite. and i loved the fish tank.
Comment by Aimee — March 15, 2006 @ 11:58 am
Relax. I didn’t accuse you of not being feminist. I just asked in what sense you consider yourself thus.
You attack not what I wrote, but what you wish I had written. Chill.
Comment by Andrea — March 15, 2006 @ 12:52 pm
Andrea, if you’d gotten me worked up (to the point that I would need to relax) I would have used exclamation points =)
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 12:56 pm
Count me another huge fan of Mr. Rogers … a guy I used to work with had previously worked for the local PBS station and had once sat by Mr. Rogers at a dinner. I told him with complete sincerity that to me that was like sitting by the Dalai Lama. I was so jealous!
I think the great lesson I learned from Mr. Rogers has to do with trying hard to see people as they really are — without the trappings of materialism, disregarding destructive societal constructs, even past that person’s momentary anger or poor judgement, into the inner good that is in every soul. Just that gentle willingness to truly see another person is so Christlike, so wonderful.
And, I think it’s a big mistake to say that race, gender, etc. don’t matter. They do matter! Diversity is to be recognized and celebrated, not ignored. Mr. Rogers showed this consistently by broadcasting music and dance from different cultures, showing people doing different jobs, having friends of different races and always showing ultimate respect for everyone — not in spite of their differences but often because of those differences.
Comment by Ana — March 15, 2006 @ 1:43 pm
I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid. My favorite was make believe and the Operas- loved all the singing and dancing. My kids just don’t seem to like it as much as I did (they don’t love Sesame Street like I did either).
Another interesting note- I have a friend who grew up in Ausrtalia and when she first saw Mr. Rogers while living in the US (watching with her kids) she found him creepy. I tried to think what would be creepy about the show, but I just remember feeling safe and calm- he’s soothing to watch.
Comment by Nicole — March 15, 2006 @ 1:55 pm
Okay, Andrea, maybe I did go on a bit (I did call it a rant, after all). But, intended or not, you left the impression that you believed Tea was not a feminist because she wasn’t your kind of feminist. You also left the impression, intended or not, that the root cause of the lack of non-white females in leadership positions in the Church was somehow evil–”problematic subservience and inequality”? In a post about Mr Rogers?
There are, and will continue to be LOTS of posts in this blog about the gender-related inequalities inherent in society. I just think that making your point in a post about Mr Rogers is a bit overzealous. As I said above, I wasn’t as big a fan of Mr Rogers as of other kids’ shows, but I never got the impression from it that he was teaching the merits “subservience and inequality” on the part of all the females in his audience. One of the key points he took great pains to make was that EVERYBODY is important, male, female, black, white, or anything else.
Maybe my view of feminism is different from yours, but I think teaching girls early in their lives that they are as important as boys are is, or should be, at the very heart of feminism.
Comment by CS Eric — March 15, 2006 @ 2:00 pm
I remember the episode where Mr. Rogers looked straight into the camera and promised me that there was no way that I could ever, ever fall down the drain of the sink or toilet. I confidently told my brother that only babies would ever think such a thing, but I was secretly relieved to know for sure.
Comment by Beijing — March 15, 2006 @ 3:12 pm
I was watching the movie “Jersey Girl” (good flick, btw) the other day, and Lady Aberline (sp?) was the private school principal! It was fun to see her in a non-Rogers setting.
I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid, and I still love the reruns. But as the youngest, my older sibling always made fun of me for watching, so I had to do it secretly. It must have been my first guilty pleasure.
Any show that teaches kids the scientific name of the platypus has to be good. Do you remember the song? (Ornithorhynchus anatinus….)
I always loved the field trips to places where they’d make things. I still get excited when I catch one of those episodes. Speaking of which, I need to find out when it is on now, as they changed the schedule a few months back.
Comment by mindy — March 15, 2006 @ 3:45 pm
Mr. Rogers was absolutely the best.
I saw a candid camera once (must be pushing 10 years ago now) where they pulled a stunt on Mr. Rogers. No matter what this bellhop in the hotel did, Mr. Rogers never got flustered, never lost his composure, nothing. It was amazing.
He never sold out either. He could have made a huge fortune licensing trolleys and all the characters from the “neighborhood of make-believe.” They could have been at least as marketable as the Sesame Street characters.
Comment by Spencer — March 15, 2006 @ 3:47 pm
I didn’t mention the church at all in my post. I think most people feel comfortable holding the world outside of the church to higher standards than those they expect of the church itself. Otherwise, one wouldn’t be able to argue against racial or gender discrimination anywhere in the world without seeming by implication also to attack the church past and present. I hadn’t intended at all to talk about the church, seriously. I have no desire to do so now.
As for raising my question on a thread about Mr. Rogers: I didn’t really watch tv growing up, so forgive me for failing to see beforehand the sacrosanct subject Mr. Rogers might be for some. When Tea mentioned the idea that race, gender, and ethnicity in leadership positions are inconsequential, and I wanted to know how this perspective fits in to feminism as she sees it, I didn’t consider the offensiveness of asking such a question in a thread about Mr. Rogers. I’m sorry.
I agree that teaching girls they are as important as boys is at the heart of feminism. I also think gender, race, and ethnicity do matter in leadership positions. I think it’s important for people of color, and for women, to qualify for and fill leadership positions in society because their visibility in such positions broadens the horizons of others who look to them as role models, slowly breaks down prejudice, and brings critical perspectives and life experiences to the awareness of groups that they lead. I intend no personal attack.
Comment by Andrea — March 15, 2006 @ 4:22 pm
I loved Mr. Rogers, and I’m happy my daughter enjoys his show now. I have to admit I got little weepy when he passed away. His show is so different than childrens television is now. A year or two before he died, Esquire Magazine published a brilliant interview/article about him. The author followed him arund, waiting to see him drop the “Mr. Rogers” mask and was continually amazed at how Christlike and gentle he was with everyone he met. I’ll try to find a copy of it online.
Comment by jjohnsen — March 15, 2006 @ 5:15 pm
Wendy–I remember feeling that way about the nursing segment too.
Ian–exactly, it’s that sense of self-worth that matters.
Ian & Aimee–the trolley is so cool!
Ana–I think I would have been jealous too =)
But I *didn’t* say that race & gender don’t matter. In terms of intrinsic value, race & gender don’t matter.
I celebrate differences right along with Mr. Rogers–but he didn’t (and I don’t) rank them based on race or gender.
Nicole–I want them to make a DVD with all of the operas on it =)
CS Eric–I think you’ve described my heart of feminism.
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 5:18 pm
Found the Esquire article. I didn’t have time to read through it again, I hope it’s as good as I remember.
Comment by jjohnsen — March 15, 2006 @ 5:18 pm
Beijing–I really liked his grasp of childhood fears. Mr. Rogers explored and explained so many things on his show and in his books.
And it’s nice to know that I “can never go down never go down never go down the drain”
Mindy–now I need to go look up the cast on IMDB =) Check pbs.org for your local station schedule
Spencer–I remember how he would sometimes use a plain wooden block to segué into make-believe. There are some things for sale at the Family Communications website, mostly his books.
Andrea–if you want to discuss my personal feminism we can do that on my intro thread =)
As far as leadership positions, my ideal is where gender and race don’t matter because we select leaders based on who will do the best job and have no preference/prejudice based on race or gender. That’s what Mr. Rogers taught me–anyone could be the mayor, and so on. Does that clarify it for you?
jjohnsen–finding that article online would be fabulous! Please post a link if you can find it. I wept also at his death–I’d lost a beloved family friend.
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 5:20 pm
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 5:21 pm
I guess our positions are closer than they appeared to be at first blush. Old ideas die hard. I remember my grandparents, who really had no idea it could be offensive often referred to blacks as “darkies.” They were products of their generation.
Overcoming prejudicial ideas truly takes generations, and Mr Rogers was as revolutionary in that way as anyone, but he was also kind and gentle. He didn’t change the world, but he made it a better place because of who he really was. I think that is why he is remembered so fondly–he made people feel good about themselves, regardless of gender, skin color, or anything else that makes each of us “different.”
Comment by CS Eric — March 15, 2006 @ 5:23 pm
Am I the only one who didn’t like Mister Rogers? I felt talked-down-to by the time I was in the first grade.
Comment by Minerva — March 15, 2006 @ 5:32 pm
(meekly raises hand) Yes Minerva, I didn’t like the show as a kid. I only liked the land of make believe. Mr. Rogers is a show that I would like my kids to watch, but didn’t enjoy myself. Kind of like the spinach of children’s shows. Good for you, but not all that interesting most of the time.
Please don’t kill me.
Comment by sue — March 15, 2006 @ 7:49 pm
An addendum to the “what doesn’t matter” list for Minerva & Sue (and anyone else raising a hand)
*liking Mr. Rogers*
I think he would want it that way.
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 7:54 pm
I agree with Minerva, I never liked that show and neither did my children
Comment by Kimberly — March 15, 2006 @ 8:09 pm
The details are foggy, but there was one particular color of sweater he NEVER reached for - it was hanging in the closet calling his name and would have looked so great… but he never put it on. I cheered for that sweater to no avail…..
Comment by Leslie — March 15, 2006 @ 8:12 pm
Leslie–I didn’t pay much attention to the other sweaters in the closet, let alone the colors. That’s some eye for detail you have!
Comment by Téa — March 15, 2006 @ 8:30 pm
Tea - you caught me, I’m a clothes fanatic! Just wish I had more money to support my love for fashion… on a more serious note, I did love the show and always felt that he was a great role model!
Comment by Leslie — March 15, 2006 @ 8:41 pm
I don’t remember liking any part of Mr. Rogers more than another. I do remember thinking that he looked like my father, who at that time was in the Air Force so he was often gone. All they had in common was black hair but that was enough for me! My mom tells the story of me turning to her one day, as I was watching the show, and saying in tones of wonder “He’s talking to ME!”
Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — March 15, 2006 @ 10:02 pm
You are my friend, you are special.
You are my friend;
You are special to me.
You are the only one like you.
Like you, my friend,
I Like You.
What I liked about Mr. Rogers was the pace. I didn’t like him at all as a child, but as an adult, I loved the pace of the show. It was relaxed and gentle.
Comment by Ann — March 15, 2006 @ 10:47 pm
My favorite “Mr Rogers moment” comes not from his show, but from an appearance he made before a Senate Subcommittee on Communications in 1969, chaired by the notoriously callous Senator John O. Pastore, in which Rogers asked for increased funding for public television. Rather than read his prepared statement, Rogers chose to read the lyrics of one of the Neighborhood’s songs, “What Do You Do?”
The subcommittee’s response?
Pastore, who had not previously seen any of Rogers’ work, indicated he was now anxious to view the program, told Rogers that what he heard gave him goosebumps, and that the impact of Rogers’ testimony was “I think you just got your twenty million dollars.”
Comment by BrianJ — March 16, 2006 @ 12:12 am
I’m glad we’re ok now. Sounds like a good show, at least in that way.
That does clarify. Sorry about not asking the question on the other thread. I’m not entirely partial to a “colorblind/genderblind” approach to leadership, but I can respect the idea behind it. I’ll leave you be and not prolong what has become a threadjack.
Comment by Andrea — March 16, 2006 @ 10:46 am
#37 BrianJ: Yes! That committee hearing is my strongest memory of Mr. Rogers, too. Although I preferred Sesame Street and The Electric Company as a kid (whatever happend to that show? “‘P’, ‘ig’, ‘Pig’…”), I didn’t mind Mr. Rogers.
I have lived in Pittsburgh for the last 6 years, and was pleased when our first apt was literally in Fred Rogers’ neighborhood–not far from where he had grown up. Pittsburgh is enormously fond of their native son. I once had a chance to visit the PBS TV studio where the show was originally filmed and walked around the original sets (now decorating one of the waiting areas) with awe.
A local mall has a Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood play area complete with a castle, a trolley, a tree and so on to climb around in. The Children’s Museum here has a huge Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood to play in. It includes a closet where you can try on sweaters and keds, a mini TV studio, puppets, a fish tank, the tree, video feeds on Fred Rogers, and on and on.
Comment by Tania in Pittsburgh — March 16, 2006 @ 11:25 am
I have to admit it…I loved Fred Rogers!!!! My fav was the episode he went to the cheese factory through picture, picture. I find myself now telling my kids stuff I learned on his show and they think I’m sooo smart:) I still sing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” around work.
On another note ..does anyone remember the Bill Cosby thing that used to come on in between shows where he drew pictures on the paper and told great Bill stories. There were all these great noises! That totally rocked too!
Comment by Amy C. in Va. — March 16, 2006 @ 3:00 pm
Ah shucks Ann, that’s sweet. You’re my friend too.
I loved Mr. Rogers too. Loved him. I admit I was on the edge of my seat the whole time to get to Make Believe, it was my very favorite. But I liked the whole thing. I too loved the factory stuff. In fact I feel the urge to watch some factory stuff just now. Is he on DVD?
Also love the Mr. Rogers in front of the senate story. That’s classic. (and the song gave me chills too)
Comment by fMhLisa — March 16, 2006 @ 5:17 pm
#40, it’s Picture Pages!!! I love love loved those!!!
“Picture pages, picture pages
Time to get your picture pages.
Time to get your crayons and your pencils…
Picture pages, picture pages
(something something) picture pages
‘Till Bill Cosby does another Picture Page with you!”
Comment by SalGal — March 16, 2006 @ 7:10 pm
Whats up with the name Mr. Mcfeely?
Comment by kristi — March 16, 2006 @ 10:13 pm
Proud Daughter of Eve–
I think it’s neat that’s such a sweet story! Thanks for sharing it.
I ‘ve heard other people express the same sentiment about appreciating Mr. Rogers as time went by. The songs are so to the point and touching at the same time.
Thanks for the link to the article, and mentioning the 1969 meeting. I think it’s one of his most memorable songs after the intro/closing and you are special (quoted by Ann above)
Andrea–don’t worry about the threads. I think the leadership idea is a goal worth striving for, but I don’t expect it to happen without hard work and some opened minds.
Tania–Sounds like I need to get me and mine to Pittsburgh!
Amy–I think it would be great to have a dvd set of the picture picture segments. We’d all feel a lot smarter =)
fMh Lisa–it is sweet, and you are special! I haven’t seen dvds but I have spotted vhs at public libraries. Amazon, anyone?
salgal–you have a better memory of the lyrics than I…
Comment by Téa — March 17, 2006 @ 10:09 am
Ahh, how crayons are made. Sigh. Such good memories of Mr. Rogers. I remember my mom was mad at my brother and I for watching tv longer than we were supposed to, but when she walked in to turn it off, she would get sucked into the show as well. I loved the constant reminder that I was special just the way I was. It’s always nice to hear that from someone other that my mom–who of course had to say it ’cause she’s, ya know, my Mom. Sigh.
Comment by tiffany — March 17, 2006 @ 7:24 pm
Re post 43: “Whats up with the name Mr. Mcfeely?” It was the surname of Fred Rogers’ maternal grandfather. In fact, Mr. Rogers’ full name is Frederick McFeely Rogers. Grandpa McFeely taught Fred many of the lessons we would later see in the show, including the most famous line, “I like you just the way you are.” The name is there, attached to the grandfatherly figure played by David Newell, as an honor to the man who got Fred started.
By the way, I actually got to meet David Newell (aka Speedy Delivery or Mr McFeely) a few months ago. I went to see him at a children’s museum for my birthday (yes my, not my daughter’s). He signed my Frisbee and asked my opinion on stem cell research.
Comment by BrianJ — March 17, 2006 @ 8:36 pm
I didn’t have TV when I was a young child. In fact no one did at that time. (I know that dates me.) But I do remember watching Mr. Rogers with my children. I think he got better as the years went by. He didn’t emphsize that each one is special “just the way you are” as much in his ealrier years as he did in the later ones. I remember watching him with my grandchildren one day and learning why snare drums are called snares drums and what makes them snare drums. I remember thinking,” My goodness, even adults can learn new things from him.” I was very impressed with Mr. Rogers and the type of man he was. I think he taught many valuable lessons.
Comment by MomR — March 18, 2006 @ 6:06 pm
BrianJ, thanks for explaining to kristi (and anyone else wondering) about Fred’s grandfather. I think it’s a wonderful example of how much potential influence we have for good, even as ‘extended family’.
I think it’s a really neat birthday activity, too!
tiffany–the crayons are a fun memory! I think you’re right, it’s nice to hear from someone who has no perceived obligation to say so, just how special we are.
MomR–I like learning new things too! Mr. Rogers wasn’t pretentious, he was genuine and I think that resonates with most people.
Comment by Téa — March 24, 2006 @ 1:47 pm