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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Episode 1575 - Dance

Original Air Date: March 13, 1987

  
For details on Episode 1575, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Episode 1574 - Dance

Original Air Date: March 12, 1987

  
For details on Episode 1574, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Smithsonian Exhibit [1993]

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures similar to this one in photo albums across the country, this one means a little more to me because I was holding the camera.

Back in the spring of 1993, I was a junior in high school and my class took a trip to Washington D.C. While I was interested in seeing the countless monuments and historical sites in the area, there was one piece of history that I wanted to see more than any other -- Mister Rogers' sweater at the Smithsonian Institution.

Episode 1573 - Dance

Original Air Date: March 11, 1987

  
For details on Episode 1573, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Are Special LP [1972]

CC24518
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 26:25
 
I came across this album among the stacks and stacks found at Record Exchange in St. Louis, MO. The vinyl and jacket are in excellent condition and I was very happy to discover that the original bonus poster was still inside and completely intact.

This is one of at least three variations of this release -- this one being the only one including the words "knows that" in the cover title. While one of my favorite parts of this album is the fun gibberish of Troll Talk, I was intrigued by the first two tracks on Side 2. For anyone, like myself, who doesn't speak French, Mister Rogers gives a brief explanation/translation of each song:

Il y avait une fois
"That song just means, 'Once upon a time in Paris there was a boy who played in the Tuileries Garden.' The Tuileries Garden is a place where people like to sail toy boats. Some of the boats are big toy boats and some are little toy boats."

J'aime prendre un bain
[Translating the song] "I like to take a bath. I like to take a bath. Because I like warm water and soap."

For more on this version of the You Are Special LP, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Episode 1572 - Dance

Original Air Date: March 10, 1987

  
For details on Episode 1572, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Episode 1571 - Dance

Original Air Date: March 9, 1987

  
For details on Episode 1571, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Episode 1706 - Brave and Strong

Original Air Date: August 26, 1996

  
For details on Episode 1706, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

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.