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taking off the sweater forever

It's a sad day in the neighborhood.

Television host Fred Rogers, better known simply as "Mister Rogers," died Thursday after a brief battle with stomach cancer, according to a spokeswoman for his production company.

My children never got into Mr. Rogers. I think he was too soft spoken and slow paced for them. Even I thought he was a bit too touchy-feely, a little too heavy on the "how do you feel" school of thought for me. He was Stuart Smalley for kids.

I never understood why there were kids who loved the show. Lady Elaine and the whole land of make-believe gave me the creeps. The treacly songs were gag-me-with-a-spoon sugary sweet. For a misanthrope like myself, the whole them of the show flew in the face of everything I believed in:

So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?

No wonder I didn't care for him. But millions of children did, and Fred Rogers - a television institution - will be missed by all of them.

I wonder if I'll be the first blogger to say "Mr. Rogers has hung up his sweater for the last time." Or, "He's gone on to the land of make believe in the sky."

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Comments

I never care much for his show either, but my kids would watch occasionally. It was still sad...he seemed to be such a gentle soul.

Fred was way cooler than that whole Muppet/Sesame Street crapfest.

Besides...Lady Elaine was a hottie.

Ok, I'm gonna plug my blog, but only for the counter-opinion.
http://attaboy.tommydoc.net/archives/000181.html
Sort of what David implied: Sesame Street hit your kid over the head. Fred spoke to you. I'm convinced my kid is as smart as she is today (at 16) because of how he helped you learn to concentrate. Plus, I loved the guy who played piano on his program. He used these jazz licks in those kiddy songs that were to die for.

Fred got better as one got older. There was a contingent at my school (the ones who got stoned and did recreational calculus), who would get stoned and watch Fred.

One thing about Fred: The land of make believe was separate from the real world. It is quite evident who did Not watch Fred--Hollywood know-it-alls, and communist politicians.

Mr. Rogers, sickeningly sweet nice guy that he was, will be missed.

SHUCKS
when I saw Taking off the sweater...
I figured we were going to talk about
BooBs over Baghdad.

We all feel a loss for Mr. Rogers, Michele. He made childhood much more bearable for some of us.
With all the gloom and doom of the Vietnam POW's and the Cold War, Mr. Rogers was a ray of hope for us kids. He will be missed.

I actually remember that rumours about his death flew around the playground several times when we were kids. So for it to finally have happened is a bit surreal for me.

(I also remember how we used to wonder if he got run over by the trolley or if the Mr. McFeely pushed him into the fish tank.)

I'm still sad though.

He touched my heart when I was young, and when I heard this morning that he had died, a little bit of me died with him....

He was a good man, doing good things for kids.

Aww. :,( sniff Always liked Mr. Rogers...

I'm sad that he's gone, but I actually cried when Mr. Hooper died. Mr. Rogers? He was nice, but I never really got into his show.

I honestly found it boring.

But I know that millions of kids did like him, and the world is the poorer for his loss.

I liked him.

He sure inspired a lot of comedy routines:
Firesign theater(I think)
"I like the way you say that, 'Egg 'Muffin'."
"Egg M'muffin"
"You want to go to the Magic Kingdom?"
"Sorry, man I gotta drive."

(Robin Williams)
"It's Mr. Postman, I wonder if he's got my package from Columbia. Sometimes that's the only way I can tolerate you little shits. It's my package from Fredricks."
"Let's put Mr. Hamster in the microwave ok?"
"beep"
"Look, you've got a little balloon now."
"The universe is entropy, can you say entropy?"
"Nice try."

I am not ashamed to say that I loved Mr. Rogers.

My dad was a workaholic who traveled all the time. It was nice to see a man on TV who seemed to care more about me than anything else in the world. That is something that shildren should have more of in the pre-school years.

I met Fred Rogers one and it was wonderful. He did not disappoint - in the real world he was still the genuine nice guy. Sometime we all grow up and become a bit too cynical, he never did.

My dad split when I was 2 and my grandpa died when I was 4. Mr. Rogers was the one man in my life when I was a child that seemed to actually care how I was doing/feeling. I adored the show -- and considered him a surrogate parent of sorts. And I loved the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Some think I still live there. ;-) Today's news absolutely killed me.

I am 19. I grew up with Mr Rogers, and he is a hero in my book. My Mom never wanted me watching Sesame Street or any of the other shows that were on then(and they were remarkably tame back then). And I never objected. She didn't want to encourage a short-attention span and instant gratification. Mr Rogers expected us to listen to him, so we did. He put things on our level without ever, ever being condescending.

Mr Rogers invited me into his world and played with me, even sharing his toys. I still remember the trip to the Crayon Factory. I remember seeing the Picture-Picture video of toothbrushes being made, and the trip to the Doll factory. And there was always time to feed the fish - basic responsibility was priority.

I remember hearing all different kinds of musicians slowly and carefully explaining their instruments and their particular art form. The Land of Make-believe was a real place. I figured out pretty early on that Mr Rogers was the one doing all those different voices, and I would sit there trying to picture that nice old man hunched over underneath the carousel or castle.

Even as I got older, I would still come running to sit in front of the TV if one of my little brothers or sisters told me one of his "Operas" was on. He made "grown-up" things cool, and made me look forward to finding out more about them for myself.

I caught myself tearing up like a big baby this morning when I read that Mr Rogers left us to go home. Thank you Mr. Rogers.

Is the trolley sad?

Funny, megan, reading that I can hear the trolly. Amazing that the memory is so vivid.

I lived on the same street where the show was taped, and I walked through the studio a couple of years ago. I never realized that Mister Rogers was everyone's neighbor -- he had a way of making his viewers young and old feel like he was there just for us. :) I miss him already, even though I haven't seen the show in years.

For the more cynical, I have this great Mister Rogers postcard parody from 1986 called "Mister Rogers Raps!" -- it goes a lil somethin' like this:

"I'm fab Freddy Rogers, and I'm here to say
I wear a new sweater, every day
I don't do drugs, I play with puppets
Gonna get on my trolley and smash some muppets --
Kick it!"

But seriously, loved the guy and his message. At least he channeled his love and respect of children in a creative and constructive way.

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