Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Fred Rogers R.I.P.

Chris came home from the SNL rehearsals tonight and said that they're rehearsing a skit with Horatio. He comes out and says "We lost a good friend this week, and I just want to sing this song." And then he sings Fred Roger's song "You're Special." Chris said it's really touching...which means it probably won't make the show. I hope it does. Mr. Rogers was totally inclusive, and his world always visibly included all children. It would be lovely to have Horatio acknowledge that.

It's funny. I never liked "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" as a television show -- too sappy for me. Julia didn't either. She'd say "Mommy, I don't like Mr. Neighborhood," when I tried to get her to watch it. But, then I went out on the 1992 PBS press tour (promoting "Ghostwriter") with Fred Rogers. He was incredibly moving talking to grownups about nurturing the littlest children. He'd say "All they want to do is please you. Be gentle. Be encouraging. Help them please you."

And, I remember when the Oklahoma City bombing happened. Julia was still little, and I was in Denver on a business trip. Watching all those horrible images of dead babies being carried out of the rubble, and feeling panicked and sick that I wasn't home. Then, Mr. Rogers was interviewed by CNN about what to say to your kids about what they were seeing. In that homespun, simple voice he said "'s what my mother always said to me. 'Look at the bad thing that person did. But, look at all the good people helping.' "

Rest in peace, Mr. Rogers.

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