Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating Fred Rogers | The Merrow Report

Celebrating Fred Rogers | The Merrow Report:

Celebrating Fred Rogers

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Fifty years ago this week, Fred Rogers began appearing regularly on PBS, the beginning of a remarkable 34-year run that elevated and improved the lives of countless children, including my own.
(His signature program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” first appeared on national PBS in February, 1968. New episodes appeared until August, 2001, and reruns through 2008. Even today some PBS stations run the series.  The forerunner, “Mister Rogers,” debuted on Canadian television in 1963.)
Twitter has been lighting up this week about Fred, particularly in light of the Manchester terrorist attack.  I think the best story came from @Breznican.  I suggest you search Twitter for his tale of meeting Fred.  Here’s one link.
I met Fred Rogers around 1980 under circumstances that still amaze me.  I had a weekly program on NPR, “Options in Education,” and we had just aired a two-part program about children with mental illness, contrasting what was provided privileged kids with what was offered to the less fortunate.
I described what happened in my forthcoming book, Addicted to Reform.
I interviewed Mary, who had been recommitted to a Texas state institution for older children for the third time.
Sometimes I feel so down at heart
I feel like I might fall apart
But then these words come back to me,
‘Just take your time, and you’ll be free.’
Mary wrote that song, which she sang for my tape recorder.  She talked about wanting to Celebrating Fred Rogers | The Merrow Report:

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