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With his current hours, Himself is in the habit of waking me when he gets home so we can snuggle until Laurel's up. He then shares any good or bad news that's happened since he left for work; today he said he had both, but I should hear the good news first. The good news was indeed good (a minor work-related item), but when he told me Mr. Rogers died, I cried.

This afternoon, NPR's Talk of the Nation had a story, Remembering Mister Rogers, that included a call-in segment. I wasn't able to get through, so here's what I wanted to say:

"I grew up on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. The first explanations about death (the older of my younger brothers died in 1982), getting along with others, and not going down the drain that I believed came from his show. My mother encouraged us to pay attention to him and I took up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood again after I was grown and it was on before I left for work -- Mr. Rogers and the local weather forecast was my morning routine.

"I've watched it near-daily since my two-and-a-half year old daughter was born. We all have favorite episodes now: my husband's is when Mr. Rogers sees Lou Ferrigno go through the makeup process, mine is when Lady Elaine turns Granpere's tower upside down, and Laurel's is when Henrietta keeps ringing the new, louder bell for her tree. When I was her size I used to dream about seeing the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with my own eyes, and we very nearly saw some of it when the Mr. Rogers hands-on exhibit came to the Greensboro Children's Museum in 2001.

"I think the saddest day will be when PBS stops showing it -- it was sad when Bob Trow (Robert Troll/Bob Dog) and John Costa (the music director) passed on, and again when Mr. Rogers retired, but I was thrilled to see the show stay on in reruns. Like Sesame Street, it's one of the gems of PBS childrens' programming."

Going to my copy of his book You Are Special reminded me it's normal to mourn: "We need time to miss the people and the things we lose, no matter whether the loss is temporary or permanent" (100).

Fellow NPR listeners, a rebroadcast of two of his past interviews will be on Fresh Air tomorrow night.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2003 05:59 pm (UTC)
Lets hug and sing some Mister Rogers songs.
Feb. 27th, 2003 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yes. I want to hug my Auntie. The midget isn't doing it (and she keeps dropping banana bread crumbs on me).

What's your favorite Mister Rogers song? I'm always town between "It's You I Like" and "What Do You Do (With The Mad That You Feel)?".
Feb. 28th, 2003 12:06 am (UTC)
I like "I'm Proud Of You" and "Sometimes People Are Good".

Then there was this song that Lady Elaine sang during one of their operas, that went "I love love love love tomatoes! I love love love love tomatoes!"
Mar. 7th, 2003 07:21 pm (UTC)
As much as I loved Mr. Rogers when I was young, as I got older I let him slip out of my consciousness. I always knew he was on the side of the angels, but he became background noise in my mental world, if pleasant and reassuring background noise.
About three weeks ago, someone close to me brought home to me just how much of a difference he's made. Made me think about him, a lot. And when he died, it hurt more for having just rediscovered him, and yet it was as though I had been given a last chance to say goodbye to him first . . .
He will be missed.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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