An Eclectic Mix of Internet Gems Combined with a Multi-published Author's Writing Tips and Book Recommendations.
I recently gave one of my neighbours a birthday card that had Mr. Rogers' picture on it. In addition to it saying, "Hey, neighbor!" were four buttons you could press: each would produce Mr. Rogers' voice saying a sentence or two at a time, like, "You're special just the way you are." (See below for what probably was said instead.) We played those recordings for probably a year before finally giving the card to our neighbor, and we've heard that their family is still playing it too. It's comforting to hear Mr. Rogers' voice (even though he has passed on); it brings back so many sweet memories. I didn't watch his show when I was a kid (because it didn't start airing until 1968), but I certainly sat and watched his reruns when my own children were growing up.Ha! Wikipedia states, "The series had its genesis in 1953, when public television station WQED debuted The Children's Corner, a program featuring Rogers as puppeteer and Josie Carey as host, in an unscripted live television program. It was this program where many of the puppets, characters and music used in the later series were developed, such as King Friday XIII, and Curious X the Owl. It was also the time when Rogers began wearing his famous sneakers, as he found them to be quieter than his work shoes while he was moving about behind the set." Didn't know that re his shoes!Wikipedia also states, "In the closing of each episode, Fred sings 'It's Such a Good Feeling' as he removes his sneakers and puts his shoes back on, and then switches out of his sweater and back to his coat. At the end of the song, he reminds the viewers that 'You always make each day a special day. You know how: By just your being you/yourself. There's only one person in the (whole) world that's like you, and that's you. And people can like you just/exactly the way you are.' He then signs off as he walks out the door, usually by saying, 'I'll be back next time. Bye-bye!' As the end credits roll (complete with title and episode number), the camera does a reverse pan of his model neighborhood, with the "Neighborhood Trolley" crossing from right to left."Also from Wikipedia: "Guests on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood were often surprised to find that although Rogers was just as gentle and patient in life as on television, he was nevertheless a perfectionist who did not allow 'shoddy' ad-libbing; he believed that children were thoughtful people who deserved programming as good as anything produced for adults on television."I had heard that Mr. Rogers had tattoos hidden under his sleeves, which he received when a Navy Seal. When I went looking for this, Urban Legends stated it was a myth. They said, "Predictably, Rogers' death in February 2003 sparked a resurgence of the old rumors, but with a fresh twist: now he was supposedly an ex-Navy SEAL, instead of a former Marine sniper. This variant circulated far and wide after someone attached it to a newer email hoax that made similar claims about Bob 'Captain Kangaroo' Keeshan. The relevant portion of that text, again dated 1993, went as follows: 'On another note, there was this wimpy little man (who just passed away) on PBS, gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth. But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeve sweater to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. A master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat. He hid that away and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm'.... Fred Rogers won our hearts, true enough; but the rest of the story as told in this email is hogwash." I didn't realize there was so much misinformation about Mr. Rogers perpetuated on the Net. It's too bad....
I didn't know there was so much misinformation circulating about him, either. Thank you for sharing! That was fascinating. I don't think I appreciated him when I first came across his show (I was older, and thought he seemed silly), but as I aged I realized just how special he was and how much we need gentle, respectful people like him. What an amazing man!
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