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Oakland: Fred Rogers

Letter_from_Mr._Rogers.


Fred Rogers
BORN: 20 March 1928.(53)

  • Dear Mr. Chad,
    Your beautiful note about our "Windstorm in Bubbleland" opera really brightened the day for all of us here. We deeply appreciate your warm and enthusiastic comments, and we're grateful that you took the time to write.
    Best wishes from all of us in the Neighborhood.
    Sincerely,
    Fred Rogers

  • Mr. Rogers' Biography.

  • Every day he takes off his shoes, puts on his sneakers. The ritual--as in a church service--has a way of lulling you. Every day you know what to expect. This place is dependable. This place is safe. (56)

  • All "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" shows look simple. But for every minute of air time, there are about three hours of in-studio work. (57)

  • The neighbors rarely appear without telephoning first, then are greeted extravagantly when they arrive. And no one leaves without saying goodbye. Topics come and go in the same deliberate way--introduced, explained, restated, and finally dismissed. This gives the show a languid pacing that can be infuriating to adults but is reassuring to children. (58)

  • It was just more than a year ago that the Smithsonian enshrined one of Fred Rogers' trademark sweaters as part of its permanent collection. (59) Around the corner, past Fonzie's jacket and across from Joe Louis' boxing gloves, is another piece of clothing with special meaning for Pittsburghers, Roberto Clemente's Pirates jersey. (60)

  • Library science first ventured into this Neighborhood in 1975, when Margaret Hodges asked Fred Rogers to donate his archives to Pitt. Hodges, now a SLIS [School of Library and Information Science now School of Information Sciences] professor emerita, knew Rogers from her days as a storyteller on the fledgling WQED-TV. Rogers also knew Pitt from his work with the School of Medicine's Margaret McFarland, the senior consultant to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on child development issues.
    Hodges persuaded Rogers to join SLIS as an adjunct faculty member and to contribute his tapes, scripts, books, records, even puppets. The puppets--backup models, of course, since the program is still in production--were loaned to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum for long-term display. Other non-videotape items have remained at Rogers' Family Communications Inc. offices until space becomes available at SLIS. (61)

  • "There is a universal truth I have found in my work," he said. "Everybody longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is let somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving." (62)


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