Fan Girl Friday

Fred Rogers

It’s Friday, and I want to tell you about someone or something that I am a fan of!

“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.

Fred Rogers

I’m from Pittsburgh, and if there is one thing that people think of when they think of Pittsburgh (maybe after Heinz Ketchup) its Mr. Rogers. For 30 years, Fred Rogers talked to children about real life and told them that he liked them just the way they are. I think most children believed, and were right to believe, that Mr. Rogers was talking directly to them.

Mr. Rogers, I think is the epitome of kindness and love. In our time and place in the world where kindness and love often take a back seat to greed, hate, and intolerance we need that kindness and love so much now.

Being from Pittsburgh, of course I have a personal connection to Mr. Rogers. Fred Rogers, very famously, swam every day at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland. My father swam with him for many years and became friends with Mr. Rogers. He remembers Mr. Rogers as being exactly the same person on the screen as he was in person. My mom always tells a story of running into Mr. Rogers one time while we were shopping in the Strip District. My younger brother was still in a stroller and had a very deep love of Mr. Rogers. Instead of greeting my parents, Mr. Rogers immediately knelt down in front of my brother and started talking to him. My brother had an awestruck look on his face – as if to say “Wow. He really was talking just to me through the TV. And he KNOWS me!!”

That personal connection, that sense of knowing you as a person and caring deeply about you, is something we all want and need in our lives. Mr. Rogers really did like all of us – whether he met us or not.

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

Fred Rogers

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