Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers

And thanks, for the memories.

Today would’ve been Mister Rogers’ 80th birthday. I didn’t grow up watching much television at all and so, not even Mister Rogers very often, and our children didn’t watch television and I don’t think our grandchildren watch ‘reruns’ of Mister Rogers. But I saw the show a number of times over the years — enough so, that I do remember many of the songs and remember them well enough to have the right inflection and timing. Do you remember the songs? Want to hear them again? “Hear” you go!

As a child, I remember going to our neighbor’s house and watching the show sometimes – that, and Sesame Street – which I pronounced, See-Same street, and was mockingly corrected for not saying it right. You know the: (ha ha ha) “You’re saying it wrong! Don’t you know how to say it?! It’s Ses-ah-meeeeeeeeeeee street (aha ha haaa)! ” If I have any phobias at all, by the way, it’s saying things incorrectly when correct pronunciation really matters. And to some children, correct pronunciation really matters.

I just try to handle situations the way Fred Rogers would’ve handled them with children and I think it all works out just fine. And that’s one of the things I most appreciated about the program — his loving enthusiasm and his kindness and patience. It was honour and gentlemanly behaviour that Fred Rogers demonstrated that also has stayed in my memories of him through the years.

I received an email that included some interesting bits about different men who are unsung heroes. I noticed that there were some amazing notes on Mr. Rogers. Sensational and unbelievable notes, really! And when notes are that amazing or unbelievable, they usually are the latter: un (or not) believable.

Though the notes in the emails had the heartwarming Mr. Rogers as trained US Navy Seal and listed the reason for his long sleeves and sweaters was to hide his the numerous tattoos he received in the military days, much of what was written and circulated in email was untrue. What’s true of him, though, is that he did spend his life attempting to make life sweet for countless millions of children — children who came to know and love their friend, Mister Rogers.

Fred Rogers warmed our hearts, this is true; but many details of his story, as told in the numerous email messages, are just tall tales. He actually graduated from Rollins College in Florida with a degree in music in 1951 and then began a broadcasting career — a career that would continue uninterrupted for 50 years, In that time he also studied for a Bachelor of Divinity degree and became an ordained minister in 1962. He didn’t live in fear of his past days or hiding a secret past as a trained Navy Seal killer. Mister Rogers was a truly a gentleman who devoted his life to encouraging the lives of children — this is how he’s remembered today.

So… it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood… where’s your sweater? Are you singing?

It’s a Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood
Fred Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we’re together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please?
Please won’t you be my neighbor!

0 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers

  1. Pamela,
    I have wonderful memories of watching Mr.Rogers as well as watching it with my children…He was a sweet and gentle man who was a positive influence on many children.

  2. Pamela,
    What a beautiful post…I couldn’t agree more…my older three children watched Mr. Rogers…no Sesame Street, but definitely Mr. Rogers…
    I recently checked out a DVD on Mr. Rogers…he wears those sweaters because his Momma made them for him…now how touching is that?
    What a trip down memory lane?


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