Thursday, July 19, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Way back when we lived on Baywood Drive in Louisville, Kentucky, I had three children under the age of five. I used to say that Misterogers was the only adult I spoke to all day long! "Won't You Be My Neighbor? he sang each afternoon as we waited for Daddy to get home from his job at the University of Louisville. Yes Misterogers, please come in and talk to me in your kind, calm voice. I need to hear that this afternoon.
Even as my children got older and did not watch Misterogers, I would would watch. Fred Rogers was a man who really cared about children and wanted the best for all of them.
This documentary was fairly balanced and I learned some things about this wonderful guy that I had not known before. He was sickly as a child and spent much time in bed. There he learned to use his imagination to keep himself entertained. He played the piano and found great release for his emotions in his music. Before his growth spurt, he was a chubby boy and was often teased...Fat Freddy! As an adult he was proud of the weight he maintained for the rest of his life. 143 was his weight and he thought of it as I Love You. Onefor I, four for LOVE and three for YOU.
If you are looking for a block buster movie, this one is not for you but if you are looking for some inspiration to be a kinder person, you might want to check it out. Fred Rogers was often dismayed by the violence that he saw on children's television and he wanted to produce a program that taught children to learn, to use their imagination and finally to learn to deal with their emotions. He succeeded. Many of the people who worked with him were interviewed and all of them say that the Misterogers you saw on television was Fred Rogers.
Amelia and I both teared up at several intervals. At the end of his funeral there was the last DING of the trolley and it made us both sniff a few times. I am glad that Amelia remembers watching Misterogers as a child and valued the time he spend with her via PBS.
I have a cute story about my oldest son, Ben. He loved to watch Misterogers as a toddler when Amelia was just a baby. One day he was sitting in the floor with a bowl and a spoon, stirring away.
"What are you making, Ben?" I asked. "I'm making believe." Thank you Misterogers for making imagination important. I sure do think we could use more Misterogers in the world today.