Mr.Rogers' Neighborhood came to PBS in 1968. I was working my first babysitting job, watching a toddler for an hour or so in the afternoon while her mom ran some errands. Right before dinner, a charming man came on TV and took us to the land of make believe. That is where I met Fred Rogers. Every day he would tell me I was special and he liked me the way I was. Simple and deep words that really hit the soul. Over the years, Fred Rogers advocated for children and family entertainment. I know several people who have met him, and they said he was as genuine in person as he was on TV, a really nice guy. One of these people was so affected by Fred Rogers, he and his brother, are making a documentary called "Mr. Rogers and Me". Benjamin and Christofer Wagner are exploring Fred Rogers' message of "deep and simple" on film. I first found Ben's blog a few years ago, and was moved by an essay he wrote, shortly after Fred Rogers' death. An interesting young man, who was deeply influenced by meeting Fred Rogers. He is making the film because of a few simple words Fred said to him, "spread the message". Can't wait for the finished film.
Today would have been Fred Rogers' 80th birthday. I saw a video a few weeks ago, and in it, Mr. McFeeley asked everyone to wear a sweater today, in memory of this lovely man. Mine's tan, and it does have a zipper. Happy Birthday Mr. Rogers!