Tribute to Reverend Fred M. Rogers “Mr. Rogers” To All That Knew Him…

July 15, 2006

Mr. Fred RogersWhen I was little I used to watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I delighted to the antics of Lady Elaine Fairchilde, Daniel Striped Tiger and not forgetting King Friday’s wren on a stick!

Most Americans who have grown up in the last 40 years are very familiar with Mr. Fred Rogers and his teachings through his television programme. This was a man ahead of his time, ahead in just about every-way a person can be ahead. While having a discussion about the programmes I watched in my youth with my mother we began talking about Mr. Rogers and the legacy he has left in our family. The message he has left with us with is so strong that when I watch anything of his work, I am moved emotionally. He has such a deep seated position in our hearts, nothing threatens it and I appreciate him and his work today as much as I did then. He had the ability to make the viewer believe he was talking to them directly. I have yet to find another television presenter who can do this like he could. He told me, and I still remember that he likes me just the way I am, and not to change. The following is a recording of a 1969 committee for the funding of public broadcasting, focusing on children. Rogers, pleads his case to Senator John Pastore who chaired the meeting.

He Beat Him Up, In the Best Possible Way

Rogers was one of the best “pre-school” teachers that ever lived. He made each and every child that watched his programme feel special, for being who they were. He embraced everyone, no matter their race, sexual orientation or religion. He upheld the need for a routine for children, and paved the road for the programmes that were to come, making sure they had the funding and promotion to make it out there to make a difference to children.

There can be no greater legacy than that of a man who has touched so many, in such a positive way. The following is an example of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, in this episode, Rogers finds that one of the fish in his tank has died, and he begins the process of dealing with it, of course trying to revive it before give up. Mr. Rogers would drag children through the mud of life’s everyday problems, and in this case, it is the death of a fish. It is of course the end of a life, but his life, and the child’s life, must go on. He gives the viewer the tools he or she needs to brush that mud off and continue. It would have been helpful if when I was in school they had showed consequences we face throughout life with just ten percent of the flare and creativity that Fred Rogers employs. This is an incredible clip, and to me, showcases the best that Mr. Rogers had to offer: In his compassion, and gentleness he informs the viewer of the correct course of action, even going as far to bury the deceased fish in the garden.

The Death of a Fish

I take with me from growing up watching Mr. Rogers a strong appreciation for his work, both to benefit children like me, and those less fortunate. He gave a gift to the world when he fought for his funding; he gave a gift to the world when he wrote about life’s little dramas, and he made and continues to make me aspire to be a better person by following his example, as I said, there can be no greater legacy.

Thank you Mr. Rogers for your gift to me and my family, as a friend of mine, Dennis Madalone said recently, ”If I could be like Mister Rogers for one day then that would be an achievement of a life time for he was truly a gift to the children and to Mankind.”

Comments Welcome.


9 Responses to “Tribute to Reverend Fred M. Rogers “Mr. Rogers” To All That Knew Him…”

  1. Tommy Says:

    A few years back, Esquire Magazine did a cover story on Fred Rogers. I also loved him as a small child, and came away with a new and undying total respect for the man that he was.

    There was also a controversy a couple of years prior about him being chosen as commencement speaker for NC State University’s graduation ceremony. He blew them all away.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Alex Says:

    Despite not being able to remember much of the Mr. Rogers shows that I watched when I was young, I know that his life lessons are still apart of me today. He truly is a wonderful person and it is too bad there aren’t more people like him.

  3. Kyle Says:

    I remember growing up with Mr. Rogers and watching his show religiously. Although as a child, I was not able to understand the full extent of what Mr. Rogers was doing for me and so many oter children simultaneously. I fully appreciate him now and am saddened that great men like him a very few and far between. They just don’t make them like that anymore. Thank you Mr. Rogers…

  4. Dennis Madalone Says:

    Mister Rogers is smiling upon your words you have written,

  5. julie Says:

    I agree with Dennis, Mister Rogers is definitely smiling!!! I, too, grew up with him and it’s a shame how far from his influence children’s television has fallen…

  6. rockwatching Says:

    Yea, I guess he probably did a lot of good. It was pretty innocent stuff back then. Wish there were more children’s programs that cared for helping the young mind instead of perverting it. Too much sensation on the TV right now, sure its popular but not what is good for a kid to see. They need to be kids first and to grow and develop to the point where they can seperate trash from decency.

  7. Thank you all for your responses. Mr. Rogers touched all that “knew” him in a very special and personal way. He told the story of when he meets someone 20 or 30, or 40 they usually say “You are Mr. Rogers, aren’t you?” And they usually end their short discussion with a hug.

    This is the hug I couldn’t give Mr. Rogers for all that he did for me and other children. The least public television can do to honor his memory is continue to play his programmes as long as they are socially relevant, and Mr. Rogers is timeless, so my grandchildren should be able to watch him as well.

    A lot of people who I have talked to have fond memories of Mr. Rogers while few thought his “goodee-goodee” attitude was a little unrealistic. I never gave any thought to the “cornyness” of anything that was on the TV Show, because I was too young.

    Again thank you for the comments, please continue to do so, the thread is open, and I have to hear from another 150 million people who care about his work.

  8. Rebecca Aguilar Says:

    KUHT Channel 8, Houston’s PBS station, airs Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at 6 a.m. on weekdays. I DVR the show for my five-year-old daughter and we watch it together before breakfast.

    I watched Mister Rogers as a kid in the 70s and still enjoy seeing Lady Elaine Fairchilde usurp control from older brother King Friday. Remember his crazy proclamations?

    And, my daughter enjoys the songs and the sweet characters, like Daniel Striped Tiger and Henrietta Pussycat.

    Mister Rogers indeed remains socially relevant and timeless!

  9. Your comments on Fred Rogers speak volumes about you, Sebastian. I believe much of Fred’s goodness live on in yourself.


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