Saturday, March 20, 2010

What About Mister Rogers & You?

Last week, Chris and my email accounts both lit up like Christmas trees when our friends and neighbors all sent us this recent New York Times report, "Mister Rogers Still Looms Large In Pittsburgh." The article begins:

Nationally, it may seem that in the seven years since Fred Rogers's death, the legacy of America’s favorite neighbor has waned.

True as the author's thesis may be, it made me a bit sad. Despite his increased absence on public television stations, Mister Rogers still looms large in the hearts and minds of many all over the world, from media to academia to grass-roots organizations like Brian Linder and his Save 'Mister Rogers Neighborhood'.

Today would have been Fred Rogers' 82d birthday. In his hometown of Latrobe, PA, the Fred Rogers Center is hosting a conference of academics to discuss his legacy, and its path forward.

I'm in Pawley's Island, SC, with my dad. Ironically, the last time I was here was the day after Mister Rogers passed away in 2003. Last night, I jogged by the hotel parking lot in which I was interviewed by The Nantucket Inquirer-Mirror.

This year, we celebrate his legacy with our ongoing "Mister Rogers & Me," efforts. Just yesterday, we launched "Mister Rogers & Me" on Facebook.

Before leaving Friday morning, Chris and I raced to get this brand-new, never-before-seen clip from the film uploaded. It's from the first third of the film, when we visit Mister Rogers' sweater in The Smithsonian, then stand out front and asked people about Mister Rogers and them.

Mister Rogers said, "There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." He certainly left a lot with me. What did Mister Rogers leave with you?

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