I recently revealed that I have an obsession with Mister Rogers. It runs deep, y'all. As a kid, I watched three shows during the daytime when my siblings were away at school. Lambchops, Shining Time Station, and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Fred Rogers has a sweetness, a charm, and a genuine love for children. When I was pregnant, I would often find myself crying - which is normal. But, see, I was crying because Mister Rogers is dead. Yes, he's been gone for fifteen years. He spent his life helping others learn how to deal with their feelings and be kind to one another. What an amazing legacy!
It's an impact that touched more lives than just my own. Do you have a memory of Mister Rogers as a child? My husband's parents taped a few episodes of Mister Rogers and then gave up cable. Sue, my mother-in-law, played the tape throughout his childhood. It wasn't until years later that he realized he had only ever watched a handful of episodes. As a perk of their framing business, Sue hung a framed poster of Mister Rogers in Stephen's room - red cardigan and all! In high school, Stephen actually won a national tournament with a speech about Mister Rogers - red cardigan and all! And all of this happened before we event met. So, it's kind of fate. I've married someone who will enable my Misterfandom.
Fred Rogers, born March 20th, 1928 began hosting his children's television show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, in 1963. That's the same year he became on ordained minister in the Presbytarian Church. Five years later, he debuted on the national stage at the age of 39. He won a Peabody Award, testified at Senate hearings, and eventually won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 1997. He married his wife, Sara, in 1952, and they had two sons, James and John. Even following his death in 2003, Mister Rogers' legacy lives on in The Fred Rogers Company, which provides wholesome entertainment for young children.
Those are all nice, pretty words to say that Mister Rogers had a popular television program. That seems minimizing. I cannot adequately describe his profound impression upon the lives of millions for decades. My son watches Mister Rogers' Neighborhood most days. Protip: find his catalog on Amazon Prime Video. Shep sees Mister Rogers as a kind friend who speaks softly. We could all use a little more love in our lives. He'll even put his shoes on when Fred does! Like his father, a framed poster of Mister Rogers hangs in his bedroom. Red cardigan and all.
We aren't the only fans of Mister Rogers. Just last month, USPS announced Fred Rogers themed collector's stamp. I imagine collectors have already snatched them up. I'm not a stamp collector but I'd like to have this one! This year marks 50 years since Mister Roger's Neighborhood launched across the country on public television. Recently, Tristar announced a film starring Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers, titled You Are My Friend. It would appear he's the stuff of legends, that modest man. In his words, "You make the world a better place by just your being you.
Were you a Mister Roger's kid? Which shows did you watch growing up? Please won't you be my neighbor and follow me on Twitter: @pi3sugarpi3