Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A beautiful day in the Neighborhood (Archive).

I've considered this for a few years now. Having grown up in the late 70's and on through the 80's, I was a kid who loved a regular visit to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. As an adult, I have continued to hold a dear appreciation for Mister Rogers, the values he taught, and the legacy he has left. I have a fairly respectable collection of Mister Rogers memorabilia, have recorded episodes from television broadcasts (I'm only missing five or six from 1980 and beyond), and I enjoy a hot cup of coffee every morning from my Mister Rogers' Neighborhood coffee mug.

What good is all of this doing me, however, if I keep it to myself? Not only that, I know the overall amount of Mister Rogers memorabilia is near infinite. With that in mind, I have always considered creating an internet archive of all things Mister Rogers...yes, all things. Episode commentary, books for kids, books for adults, LP releases, CD releases, fan stories, news articles, toys...and so on...and so on. I've searched the web and to my amazement, nothing like this exists. We are provided countless tributes to Miley Cyrus and can find the latest antics of any major Hollywood star with the click of a mouse...but nothing directly centered around Mister Rogers.

This past fall, I was saddened to learn that PBS has pulled Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from its regular programming, essentially ending an era of invaluable childrens' television. While there are indeed efforts being made to Save Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, I felt that my idea for an archival site dedicated to Mister Rogers could never be more appropriate than it is right now. Becoming a father for the first time this past spring, I hope that my daughter is able to grow up knowing Mister Rogers and learning from visits to his neighborhood -- unfortunately, with the direction that PBS seems to be heading, it looks like it will be up to grassroots efforts such as this for future generations to have such an opportunity.

I had considered building an actual web site for this effort but building a site, especially one so detailed, takes a lot of time. More than I've got to surrender at this point. So a blog is the next best thing. I know I'm not the only one out there with this kind of an appreciation for Mister Rogers so please check back on this blog often as you can expect frequent updates. My hope is that this effort will find a solid audience of faithful Mister Rogers fans and grow to be a long-overdue web resource dedicated to one of the most influential icons of our generation -- Mister Rogers.