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Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater (1928-2003)

Related thread:
Obit: Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003) (61)


CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM
Sourdough 14 Jul 01 - 02:48 AM
Don Firth 14 Jul 01 - 04:07 AM
Sourdough 14 Jul 01 - 04:16 AM
Don Firth 14 Jul 01 - 05:35 AM
Alice 14 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM
Alice 14 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM
Art Thieme 14 Jul 01 - 12:34 PM
Bill D 14 Jul 01 - 01:01 PM
Susan from California 14 Jul 01 - 05:50 PM
DancingMom 14 Jul 01 - 06:23 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 10:38 PM
Celtic Soul 14 Jul 01 - 10:44 PM
Whistleworks 14 Jul 01 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,khandu 14 Jul 01 - 10:50 PM
Whistleworks 14 Jul 01 - 10:51 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 10:54 PM
Whistleworks 14 Jul 01 - 11:40 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 11:43 PM
Big Mick 14 Jul 01 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,KT 15 Jul 01 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,KT 15 Jul 01 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,KT 15 Jul 01 - 12:07 AM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 12:10 AM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 15 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 12:21 AM
Don Firth 15 Jul 01 - 05:52 AM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 11:33 AM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Denise:^) 15 Jul 01 - 12:24 PM
Hollowfox 16 Jul 01 - 10:33 AM
Don Firth 16 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM
Jacob B 16 Jul 01 - 11:42 PM
Melani 17 Jul 01 - 02:05 AM
Amergin 17 Jul 01 - 02:15 AM
LR Mole 17 Jul 01 - 01:30 PM
katlaughing 01 Aug 10 - 04:53 PM
ClaireBear 01 Aug 10 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Big Ballad Singer 01 Aug 10 - 11:14 PM
katlaughing 01 Aug 10 - 11:41 PM
open mike 02 Aug 10 - 07:18 AM
open mike 02 Aug 10 - 07:35 AM
Midchuck 02 Aug 10 - 11:18 AM
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Subject: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM

This is a music related thread. And I think it could be argued that it is related to folk music.

Mister Roger's Neighborhood is being discontinued and Fred Rogers is going to be putting his energies into new endeavors.

For at least two generations, Fred Rogers has been bringing an appreciation for music of all forms to children all over the US (any other countries?). He was especially aware of, and appreciative of different folk cultures, and showcased them from time to time on his show.

And one of my favorite moments in the history of his show was when he sat with world renowned cellist, Yo Yo Ma, and discused music in a way that made it accessible and friendly to children.

I wonder how many people got their first taste and real appreciation for music from that gentle man.

Bye-bye, Mister Rogers. We'll miss you.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:48 AM

A lot of people find Mr. Rogers to be annoying, super-sweet, and insincere. I think I probably used to share this feeling.

I first became aware of him when I was working at one of the major public television stations in the mid-Sixties. I was Production Stage Manager and so when afer his first year on television Fred Rogers came to make a personal appearance, I was put in charge of getting Studio A (60' x 100') ready for him and for the children who would make up his audience.

It was a March day, as I recall, and he was scheduled to appear, sometime in the afternoon. Mid morning we noticed that a crowd was beginning to assemble in the parking lot. Already there were literally hundreds of people out there, parents with children, waiting for Fred Rogers. Unfortunately, it was an ugly day - windy with sleet falling from leaden skies. As the numbers grew, the station manager realized that we were going to be responsible for a lot of colds and bronchiitis in the next couple of hours before Fred Rogers arrived unless we did something quick and got the kids out of the cold and wet. The station staff was sent out all over Boston to get educational amusements for kids.

Someone found a goat, another some kittens, another person scored a lot of oversized paper pads and crayons. Bit by bit, we put together "stations". We then put the fans into a line that snaked through the entire television station through the offices, and down the corridors. The producers, directors, secretaries all stopped what they were doing to entertan the kids as they worked their way towards the studio where in turn they would be greeted by Fred Rogers.

We had succeeded in getting most of the children out of the rain but there were hundreds of kids, all anxiously waiting their turn to meet this man whom they had come to like so much, watching him on their televisions at home.

What impressed me was that Mr. Rogers made sure that every kid had a unique experience with him.

When a child reached him, Fred Rogers was well aware that he had been in the cold and for several hours had been snaking his way patiently towards this momen. He spoke with each child and it was always about something that was directed at that particular one. I remember one child, a little girl who when she reached Mr. Rogers, could not wait to tell him that her goldfish had died. Fred Rogers understood that this was probably the child's first experience with death and he spoke softly to her about missing her friend. Anotehr boy was carrying a model airplane. Mr. Rogers commented on it and found out that the boy had a father who was a pilot. Each child left with the memory of a conversation with his patient man.

Until that afternoon, I don't think any of us realized what a large and faithful following Mr. Rogers had. He couldn't have, either but even though he stayed hours longer than he had originally intended, he kept up his one-on-one brief conversations with the children until the last one was gone. He never ever let a child see that he was impatient or tired.

He showed himself not only to be a good television personality, he was a wonderful role model and he showed himself to be a fine man. As of that afternoon, I became an admirer.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:07 AM

Fortunately, Fred Rogers' shows are essentially timeless. They could be run ad infinitum so that future generations can see them, and then it will continue to be a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:16 AM

Don -

You're right. I think he gave up doing his daily show several years ago and has only been doing specials since then. I guess what this new announcement means is that he is discontinuing all his on-camera wok.

One other thing about him - I believe he is an ordained minister.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 05:35 AM

I'm pretty sure Fred Rogers is an ordained minister, but I'm not sure what denomination.

His show can be therapeutic for adults, too, if they are receptive to him and in need of a little quiet-time. Some years back, my wife Barbara was into puppetry, and she used to watch the show. Our local PBS affiliate ran the show twice a day -- 8:00 in the morning, and again at about 5:00 p.m. Sometimes when Barbara came home from work feeling like ripping somebody's head off, she would sit down in front of the TV set and watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and a half-hour later, she would be calm and centered. I found that it works for me, too.

A few years back, a local author name Robert Fulgham wrote a book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things. Fulgham is a gentle man also. He and Fred Rogers are very much in the same ballpark. Simple stuff that's much too easy to forget.

"These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt someone. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and milk are good for you. . . when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together." -- Robert Fulgham.

"I like you just the way you are." -- Mister Rogers.

A little gentleness never ever hurt anyone.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Alice
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM

Frontline last night covered this story on Mr. Rogers, and included examples of how he always cared for what children were going through. When Bobby Kennedy was asassinated, he spoke directly to parents through his show, asking them to be careful about protecting their young children from the violence they were seeing on tv, of how quickly they are overwhelmed. Frontline showed the segment of a puppet asking what "asassination" means. There was such a gentle yet honest way that children's questions were answered, and comfort and reassurance given. Fred Rogers spoke to the Frontline interviewer about letters he receives from people who grew up watching him. One woman wrote to him about how she was abused as a child, grew up in terror, and yet would find the time when she could watch his show, a comfort to hear that she was special, just being herself. He was the only sane and gentle part of her childhood.

My son liked Mr. Rogers when he was that toddler age of the audience... 3, 4, and 5. He saw Fred Rogers just as Mr. Rogers said he wanted to be viewed... as a neighbor, someone who would visit each day for a quiet and interesting time. Music was a great part of the show, and Fred Rogers composed and wrote the scripts, and did the puppetry. Both his parents and his grandparents were musicians, and he said when he was as young as five, he could remember going to the piano and playing for himself to express both sadness and happiness. He said that as a child at the piano, tears could come through his fingertips.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Alice
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM

Another note, Mr. Rogers' new projects include books on the internet. He said he imagines reading bedtime stories, and "if anyone's voice can put you to sleep, mine can".


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:34 PM

I, too, watched Fred Rogers as an adult after watching him with our son for so many years when Chris was growing up. I'd come off the road after doing weeks of having great times doing gigs between L-O-N-G driving stretches with exploded radiator hoses at 3:AM and crahing transmissions during rush hours in midtown Manhattan--not to mention actual crashes and storms & blizzardsin the middle of nowhere. Fred Rogers was like an instant tranquilizer, an oasis in a desert while trying to get home riding a used camel that was all I could afford.
Mark Twain said, "90% of life is just showing up ! But Mr. Rogers sure could make you forget that and mellow stuff out with only a change of channels.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 01:01 PM

I never liked Mr Rogers...not my taste..but I respect him and what he accomplished. Good comes in many forms, and his was exactly right for so many kids.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Susan from California
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 05:50 PM

Can anyone think of a "Mr. Rogers" for current times? I'm sad to say that I can't.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: DancingMom
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 06:23 PM

Don, If I remember correctly, he is a Presbyterian minister. S.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:38 PM

Thanks everybody. Especially for the reminiscences. Those are great.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:44 PM

It could be argued by adults that Mr. Rogers was sacharinly sweet. But as a child, I remember the show with an amazing clarity. And considering that I do not remember any other kids show as well as this one from that same period of my life, I'd say that it made quite the impression. I loved the imagination that went into his world, both the "real" side and the imaginary one ruled over by King Friday.

And you betcha he made an impact on me musically! It was some of the first music I was introduced to as a child. I *still* know the theme song!! ;)

Thanks for the memories, Mr. R! :D


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Whistleworks
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:47 PM

Fred is a good friend. Here is my story. I was working as a surgical physician assistant in the pediatric open heart team at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. A kid of about 9 asked me one evening, "I hear that they are gonna saw my chest open with a buzz saw. Is that true"? I was dumbfounded. I couldn't lie to the kid (cause that's essentially what we do) but I didn't want to scare the hell out of him. What to do? I went across the street to Family Communications where Fred Rogers worked. I asked to see him. I was in my white lab coat and scrub suit. Fred came right out and we had a thirty minute conversation. Tell the truth, but play it down. He would be asleep and he wouldn't feel anything until AFTER he woke up. Don't lie. Kids could pick that sort of thing up in an instant. I have used those instructions on thousands of patients, kids and adults. It has never failed me. Fred and I continue to write. And in EVERY case, he WRITES. No secretary. No typewriter. No computer genrated letters. Handwritten, every time, in a beautiful cursive style.

Yes, Presbyterian minister. And yes, personality off camera is the same as on.

My most lasting memory...he once let me hold King Friday XIII. No kidding.

Have a beautiful day in the neighborhood,

Bob Pegritz


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,khandu
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:50 PM

"Tomorrow, tomorrow, we'll start the day tomorrow with a song or two!"

khandu


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Whistleworks
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:51 PM

I must add one more thing. Fred has done two things on which I helped in a very insignificant way. They were "Mister Rogers Talks to Children With Cancer" and "Mister Rogers Talks to the Parents of Children With Cancer". Two of the best things that man has ever done.

Bob Pegritz


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:54 PM

Bob... next time you write to him, would you tell him some of us in the Mudcat say hello and that we appreciate the contribution he's made to the world?


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Whistleworks
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:40 PM

Hi Carol,

I'd be delighted to do that.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:43 PM

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:56 PM

I have spent many a beautiful day in his neighborhood. The kids learned from this man, but so did this Dad. Fred Rogers taught me, through his magical show, how to be straight with kids and talk things through WITH them. Not at them, not above them, but with them. His way has saved me many heartache and helped me to nourish three human beings in a positive, caring way. We shall not see another like him. We are poorer for that.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:04 AM

Okay gang. This has been in my head all afternoon...ever since reading this thread.

have a listen and a stroll down memory lane


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:06 AM

oops! Click here


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:07 AM

HHHMMMFF!!!! cut and paste here!

http://www.pbs.org/rogers/songlist/song1.htm


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:10 AM

I was afraid when I saw the title of this thread that he had died. So glad to hear he's still alive and kicking!

I love all the memories you guys are sharing. Never having met him in public, for me he was a man on TV show, first as a child myself, and then as a father. But what a great show it was!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:16 AM

I met him as a little kid. Got an autographed photo. (wish I still had it!) He was unlike any one else. So down to earth. Even as we kids out-grew Sesame St and ZOOM, Mr. Rogers was someone you could watch all the time. The closest I can think of regarding somebody relating that well with children would be the storyteller, Donald Davis. (Listen to Mrs. Rosemary's Garden) Mr. Rogers will be sorely missed.


Boomarang

Toomerang

Zoomerang!


Rich


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:21 AM

Won't you be my neighbor?


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 05:52 AM

"If at first you don't succeed, stay as sweet as you are." -- Lady Elaine Fairchilde


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:33 AM

I was just cruising around the linked site. I clicked on the musical instrument case. It showed a page with instructions on how to make a shoebox harp. Even his website has good musical stuff for kids in it!


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:35 AM

Oops! forgot to say where the instrument case is. It's in Mister Rogers' house.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,Denise:^)
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:24 PM

You know, when I saw this thread, I was afraid to look--I figured there'd be a lot of 'Mr. Rogers' bashing, and I didn't even want to hear it again...

I've taught young children for 18 years, and I think Fred Rogers is terrific! I've been really tickled to read what everyone has written here. Hope someone points him here to read!

BTW, the instrument case Carol mentioned is in "Show and Tell" in 'Mr. Rogers' living room.' The show & tell object changes each time you click on something, so if you want to see it, click on the "show and tell" item on the table until it comes around!

Denise:^)


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Hollowfox
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 10:33 AM

I've been watching Fred Rogers' work since the early 1950's, when he had a local show out of Pittsburgh called the Children's Corner, I think. When things were just right, we could get the show here in Ohio, and my parents and I would watch it together. Not because it was "educational", but because it was clever. Instead of the well-known set, Instead of an actual clock, Daniel S (for Strip-ed) Tiger's clock was drawn on a white backdrop with a flap for Daniel to appear in. He always ahd that little voice, but I don't remember him being shy, I remember him always telling about parties he was having, where they served hamburgers. Best of all, there was the Tame Tiger Torganization. You got a picture of Daniel, and as you acquired a skill, you could color in a stripe. I got stuck about midway, as I never could quite learn that little French song. I wish I knew where that sheet was, I'd like to try it again. I think it was about this time that Mr. Rogers was "mobbed" like that for the first time. Members of the TTT who'd progressed to a certain stripe were invited to the studio to meet him and Daniel, of course. Since I hadn't learned the song, I didn't make the cut (probably to the relief of my parents), but hundreds of kids in Pittsburgh went; many more than the station expected.
For my part, when Fess Parker (the actor who played Davey Crockett) visited town at the height of his popularity, he asked me if I'd like to join the Davey Crockett fan clu, and I solumnly informed him that I couldn't as I was already a member of the Tame Tigers Torganization. He looked bewildered, but accepted it.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM

I recall seeing an interview show a few years back in which Mister Rogers talked a bit about his early days on TV, and as he and the interviewer talked, they showed some clips. Way back, Daniel wasn't particulary shy; in fact he was pretty quick with the pun or the clever remark.

Also, some of what might be called "ritual" started on that earlier show. Mister Rogers said that it was always cold in the studio, and when he ran around behind the sets to manipulate the puppets, you could hear the "thump thump thump" of him running. So when he first came into the studio to do the show, he'd put on a sweater and a pair of sneakers. Later, he started doing that on camera as he sang the opening song of the show.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Jacob B
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:42 PM

Mick, I have to disagree with you. I think life will bring us more good, gentle people like Fred Rogers - and they will probably be people who were inspired by growing up with Fred Rogers as a model.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Melani
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 02:05 AM

He's very easy to parody because of his style, and many people have done it--Stan Rogers, for example. My reaction to him at first was to do the same, until I read an interview with him where he talked about how he became a minister after an experience saving his two-year-old son from drowning at a Florida beach. I realized then that he was really like that, not just putting on a kiddy show.

My favorite interview of his was with an astronaut (I forget which one), where he said, "And now we come to the question that I know all my little friends want to know the answer to--how do you go to the potty in space?" The astronaut looked taken aback for a moment, and then said, "Well, Fred, just like you do on earth."


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 02:15 AM

I used to terrorise the shit out of my younger cousins and my brother and sister with that neighbour song...I would sing it in a seedy, leering voice and then make it as dirty as possible...only with the innocent words...


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: LR Mole
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:30 PM

A story from the book "Kids: Day In and Day Out". Back when enlightened parents wouldn't have TV's in the house(before it was realized that, like it or not, not knowing what the other kids are talking about makes a not-TV'd kid seem a little geeky) a child was assured that what he saw on the tube (violence, ads, etc.) were not real.On seeing Fred Rogers, the child asked the TV owner if Fred was real. On being assured that he was, the kid said, quite happily,"He loves me."


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 04:53 PM

A friend just sent me this link. It's worth a read, imo:

Why Mr. Rogers was the best neighbour.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: ClaireBear
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 05:36 PM

Love the Impala story, and that his sweaters were all knitted by his mum. Thanks, Kat!


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: GUEST,Big Ballad Singer
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 11:14 PM

When my wife was pregnant with our first daughter, we wrote to Mr. Rogers through the Family Communications website. He, personally, replied with an email letter to my wife and I and attached a separate letter, addressed to our yet-unborn daughter about how her mom and dad loved her and wanted so much to share this beautiful world with her when she arrived.

I'm tearing up just writing this and remembering that day when our lives were touched so personally and profoundly.

I have never outgrown Mr. Rogers and the wonderful Neighborhood, and I never will. He is a mainstay in our home and I cannot be grateful enough for the peace, joy and compassion he taught us through his life's work.

If any of his family or friends ever stop by and read these things, I hope they come away with a sense of how much so many of us love our Mr. Rogers.

Speedy Delivery,

BBS


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 11:41 PM

BBS, that is really neat. Thanks for telling us.

ClaireBear, glad you liked it. I thought that was neat about his sweaters, too.


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater (1928-2003)
From: open mike
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 07:18 AM

glad to hear he was (is?) a vegetarian...


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater (1928-2003)
From: open mike
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 07:35 AM

He passed away in 2003. His PBS television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, was in production from 1968 to 2001.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rogers


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Subject: RE: Fred Rogers hangs up his sweater (1928-2003)
From: Midchuck
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 11:18 AM

Cross-reference

Peter


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