You already know Brian Linder, whose "Save Mister Rogers" campaign gained national media attention and over six thousand members on Facebook. Brian and I continue to exchange emails, and plot bigger things for our collective affection for Mister Rogers and his values.
In the coming weeks and months, I'll endeavor to introduce you to a few other Neighborhood friends you may not have met, but who've reached through the Internets to say hello.
Tim Lybarger's "Neighborhood Archive" is an ever-growing, DIY resource for other Mister Rogers fans.
"I continued to hold a dear appreciation for Mister Rogers, the values he taught, and the legacy he has left," he explains. "I have a fairly respectable collection of Mister Rogers memorabilia, have recorded episodes from television broadcasts (I'm only missing five or six from 1980 and beyond), and I enjoy a hot cup of coffee every morning from my Mister Rogers' Neighborhood coffee mug."
I asked Tim if he had met Mister Rogers. He replied thusly:
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of me and Mister Rogers to pass along. The closest I ever came to that was a letter to him at the time of the completion of my undergraduate degree thanking him for his positive contribution to my life. In reply, I received a very humbling letter from him thanking me for my contact and wishing me the best as I enter the world of education. One of my most prized possessions to say the least.
Responding to Tim's letter -- one of hundreds that week, no doubt -- is the essence of Mister Rogers. All of those small gestures aggregate into something larger: a legacy.