Monday, September 19, 2011

mister rogers

when mister rogers died, i was a student in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- which was, literally, mister rogers' neighborhood. He was often seen walking around shadyside, or on campus, and it was not unusual to hear of mister rogers sightings from classmates.

the day he died, i couldn't stop crying. In fact, i met up with Chris for a game of squash (we were just friends at the time) and i couldn't stop crying, even though i was really embarrassed to be crying in front of him. i think a lot of us who grew up watching mister rogers didn't realize how much he mattered.

andrew sullivan linked to this profile of mister rogers today. the writing is a little bizarre and disjointed, but this story stood out to me.
"He had already won his third Daytime Emmy, and now he went onstage to accept Emmy's Lifetime Achievement Award, and there, in front of all the soap-opera stars and talk-show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, 'All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are ... Ten seconds of silence.' And then he lifted his wrist, and looked at the audience, and looked at his watch, and said softly, 'I'll watch the time,' and there was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked … and so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds … and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier, and Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said, 'May God be with you' to all his vanquished children."
watch the video of the speech here.


  1. i cried watching. yes, we were all loved into being! waaaah!!!! :) thanks for posting. love this! i feel great going to sleep now!