Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Madaket Moment

I watched "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor" again last night, and noticed an oil painting of The Crooked House just over Fred's shoulder. It was reassuring to see evidence of his love for the place, as it isn't often mentioned in articles or interviews.

The painting (as you can see) is precisely the place I know and love, though it seems to be painted (or imagined) from a time before the actual neighborhood that has sprung up on Smith's Point.

The DVD (hosted by Michael Keaton, whose manager's name and number I snagged from a colleague on Monday) contains the 1967 documentary, "Creative Person: Fred Rogers." It's a remarkable piece of film, more François Truffaut than Ken Burns. The film ends with black and white footage of Fred and his two sons walking through the grassy dunes behind The Crooked House.

Inspired this morning, I called The Nantucket Inquirer-Mirror. The paper is so small, and so under-staffed, that the managing editor recognized my name. "Didn't we quote you in his obit?" he asked.

He was a swell guy, but he wasn't much help. Ends up the Inquirer-Mirror has no research department, or archives. Instead, he suggested I contact the public library (known in Nantucket as The Atheneum), and the Nantucket Historical Society.

I can't wait to learn more about how Mister Rogers came to Nantucket (I know that he told me, but I can't piece it together through the fog of time), and what it meant to him.

I know it meant a lot, as it does to me. He was a reflective soul, certainly the most reflective andmeditativee I've ever met). I think the quiet of the place, and the sweeping, panoramic views of the ever-changing sky, brought him great and lasting peace.

I can't wait to go back there. And I can't wait for you to see.

No comments: