The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Friday, May 26, 2006

Mr. Rogers Kicks Ass.

Mr. Rogers Memorial
Originally uploaded by JRoth.
Pittsburgh is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Literally. The TV show was made for most of its existence right around the corner from Carnegie Mellon, and Fred Rogers sightings were a staple of discussion among those of us who grew up with him. I'll never forget speeding past him on my way to work one morning. I was biking and it was cold, and he was waiting to cross the street. I don't even remember if I spoke first, but he saw my recognition and gave me a warm Good Morning. When he died, the whole city went into mourning, as evidenced by the sign in the photo. It was in the window of a very hip, High Fidelity-style record store on Pittsburgh's South Side the day after Fred Rogers' passing. A tribute to the universal love he engendered in this town. (In case you can't read it well, it says, "Mr. Rogers, Thank you for all the beautiful days in the neighborhood.")

Anyway, I've been meaning to post about Mr. Rogers for ages - and there's more I want to say, now that I've got a two year old of my own - but the immediate inspiration is this video, which I found via Exit Stage Left. In it, Mr. Rogers, circa 1969, turns a somewhat cynical Senator into a quivering lump, happy to give $20 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


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