Usually when people do that “you’re special” crap I tend to roll my eyes.
But when Mister Rogers said it…
That’s because Mister Rogers meant it.
Mister Rogers genuinely cared about everyone and that’s why he will forever be the best. All of my feels.
True fact: He was considered to be one of the hardest people to interview, because he would turn it around and ask questions about the interviewer with genuine interest. Asking about their children and spouses, their dreams of the future, etc.
Mister Rogers is why we have DVR.
I’m serious. In the 1980s, there was this thing called Betamax (it was like the precursor/competitor to VHS) and people wanted to record on their Betamax, but up until that point, there had never been a device that would allow people to actually record a show in the home, so contracts had never been written with such a thing in mind (think about how Napster changed peer-to-peer or, if you’re younger than that, how anti-piracy laws have changed online video watching). And for awhile, it looked like recording shows on your Betamax or VHS would be illegal! Shows could only be watched live, the end.
So Mister Rogers went to testify to Congress.
And he said it was very important to him that Betamax recording should be allowed, because not all families could be home when Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was on television, and he would like them to be part of his neighborhood even though their schedules ran differently, because television should be about teaching and nurturing children and the neighborhood was for every child.
Congress passed a law to allow home recording.
Oh, and if you’re not crying hard enough yet, do you guys remember how every episode he used to say something about how he was feeding the fish? Apparently he had a little girl write to him who was blind and she’d heard him talk about the fish tank but she was afraid he wasn’t feeding his fish. And so every single episode from the day he got that letter on forward, he always announced when he was feeding the fish. I don’t know when he got that letter, but I do know that I watched him my whole life until he died when I was 14, and I don’t ever remember an episode where he didn’t announce he was feeding the fish.
The day he died, my social studies teacher came in and said “I have something really sad to tell you all” and we’re like “right, here come the Civil War stories” and he told us this story about being a kid and being on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, because he lived only a block away in Rev. Rogers’ real neighborhood, and then he said “I just got off the phone with my mother. Fred Rogers passed away today. She’s sitting with his wife now.”
We all just sat there in complete silence and then someone said “Mister Rogers died?” and one of the girls behind me burst into tears.
We didn’t have class that day. We had a memorial service for Mister Rogers, talking about our favorite episodes and things we’d learned from him and at one point there was a spontaneous chorus of “It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” which was hilarious because none of us remembered all the words but we’d all forgotten different parts of the words, so we were all sorta fading in and out like a warped record.
You know you were a good man when you’ve got a high school football player sobbing for you.