Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mr. Rogers

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

Please, won't you be my neighbor?

{Won't You Be My Neighbor -- Mr. Fred Rogers}

When I was a baby, our family dog Judge died. My sister, then almost 7 was very upset and wrote Mr. Rogers a letter. 

"Dear Mr. Rogers, today my dog died..."

Well. Mr. Rogers replied. He sent Avi a sweet letter back and included a book about when a pet dies. He and Avi corresponded for a bit after that. 

Then, when Avi was in 3rd grade her class was writing to famous people. She decided to write to Mr. Rogers again. He responded! They picked up their correspondence once again. 

A friend of my mom's, Hedda Sharapan was Mr. Roger's longtime producer. When Avi was in high school, Hedda reached out. They were publishing an anthology of letters that Mr. Rogers had received of the years - "Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain In Your Neighborhood?" They wanted to use Avi's letter, as the cover for the section on death - not just the words, the full letter...her actual letter scanned in. Of course, she said yes! 

Turns out family friends moved to Pittsburgh a year or so later and when we went to visit them we were also able to spend some time at Mr. Rogers' studio. Hedda took us on a tour of the set, we met the fish, we saw the trolley tracks, we touched the puppets, and yes, we met Mr. Rogers. I will never forget that moment of stepping into his office and feeling like I was in front of a superhero, the man I watched on tv and had brought me and millions of children so much comfort for so long. We left that day with many memories and trinkets, including that little red trolley, one of my most prized possessions to this day. 

Mr. Rogers has always had a special place in my heart. Both as a person and as an educator. Watching the documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor" this summer just brought all the memories of why he was such a special part of my childhood came flooding back. I then read the new biography about Mr. Rogers and it was just so amazing to get even more insight into his life and the history of what made him, him. 

I cannot recommend the film or book enough. I sobbed through the film and had tears in my eyes multiple times while reading. The world needs to remember the lessons we learned from our neighbor Mr. Rogers, he taught us so much and it would do us all good to remember it! 

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18 thoughts on the matter:

Handmade in Israel said... {Reply}

I am not familiar with Mr. Rogers but his story is obviously a wonderful memory for you. Love the old photos! Happy Chanukah!

aspiritofsimplicity said... {Reply}

What a wonderful story. I loved Mr. Rogers as a child and it was one of the few things on TV that I allowed my young children to watch. I haven't seen the documentary yet or read the book but I am going to put on my list. Happy Chanukah!

Mother of 3 said... {Reply}

So neat! I always loved Mr. Roger's. I'll have to check out the documentary and the book.

Meditations in Motion said... {Reply}

Thank you for this post about a wonderful role model for children. So exciting that you got to meet him. I am so sorry I missed the movie when it was in the theaters. Maybe it will be on Netflix before too long. I would love to see it. I also just wrote a post about Mr. Rogers a few weeks ago!

Shelbee On The Edge said... {Reply}

Tamar, this might be one of my favorite posts ever of yours! Such a touching and special story, I got all teary eyed! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I will have to check out that book, for sure.


Julie | This Main Line Life said... {Reply}

What a wonderful experience. Mr. Rogers was such a big character in so many of our lives growing up. I had always heard that he truly was a kind person and interested in the well being of all the kids who watched his show. I'm sure it's a really interesting book.

Tom said... {Reply} three children grew up with Mr. Rogers, what a blessing.

Bekah said... {Reply}

WOW. This is the coolest story!! I wasn't allowed to watch much TV growing up, but I was allowed to watch Mr. Rogers (if I happened upon it) and I loved him. This is my favorite post today.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said... {Reply}

Our country really needs Mr Rogers right now. I saw the documentary last summer too and was overcome with joy and sadness.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

That is really cool about your sister and Mr. Rogers being pen pals. What a cool guy! And that you got to meet him! I love the pictures, so retro!

Lisa said... {Reply}

WOW! What a tremendous story. I loved watching Mr. Rogers when I was a kid too. He was quite the man.

Loni said... {Reply}

Wow that is so awesome! You are such a lucky girl to have gotten to MEET him and see his set! I love that your sister wrote him letters, and especially that he wrote her back. I used to tolerate watching Sesame Street while waiting for Mr. Rogers to come on; I will have to watch this documentary!

csuhpat1 said... {Reply}

That is such a cool story. Very nice. Thanks for sharing it with us. I miss Mr. Rodgers.

Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

Suchot said... {Reply}

Such a cool personal story about Mr Rogers. I'm definitely super nostalgic about shows like Mr Rogers. We need more of those slower-paced shows for children these days.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

You're making me cry now! The film was excellent and I learned a lot about him from it. I love these photos, how special your family's connection was with him. I see you in your nephews now!! Thanks for sharing!

Klara S said... {Reply}

Cool story! Thank you for sharing.
And thanks for hosting.

betty-NZ said... {Reply}

How awesome! Thanks for the tour.

Linda said... {Reply}

I loved Mr. Rogers! Such a nice person!