This past weekend I was contacted by a younger reader of this blog who expressed to me her deep appreciation for Mister Rogers and the effect his work has had on her life. Included in her email was a written tribute to Mister Rogers Neighborhood. With her permission, I'd like to share it with you today.
Title: A Day in his Neighborhood...
Written by: Sarah Jo
It's such a beautiful day in the neighborhood, as he walks through the door, a smile and a wave, goes down the steps and unbuttons his suit. He starts to sing and opens the closet door to get a cardigan from the rainbow of colours inside.He puts it on, just one sleeve at a time, zips up his sweater, handmade by his mother, he takes a seat, just in front of the stairs, and takes off his loafers in favor of some blue sneakers and you notice he has brought something to show you.
It's something you've never seen before today, it fascinates you, you are now entranced to find out what this wonderful thing could be, and he explains, every word you remember, you couldn't possibly forget, he tells you so well, then he shows you how it works, and it makes you smile to see a man of his age playing with play things, and then all the sudden, you hear a knock at the door!
Could it be Joe Negri? Chuck Aber? He looks out the window and sees that it's Mr. Mcfeely! Perhaps he has a speedy delivery? So he opens the door and greets the mailman, he has no package to give but they exchange some words with each other anyhow. Once they are finished the delivery man heads out the door and waves a loving goodbye to his friend and neighbor. He shuts the door and heads over to the Trolley for some make - believe. You listen just to hear the sound of it passing by him on the tracks, and as quickly as it comes it goes, and make - believe begins, when he finally comes back from his imagination, he tells of the morals meant to be learned.
Then it's time to feed the fish, he smiles at them, then he stares at you for just a moment, a little serious, and smiles again as he starts to sing his leaving song, and begins to take off all the stuff he put on after he first came in the door earlier and gets back into his formal attire he once wore. He picks up his toy he had also brought to show you, and tells you how you are special, and that there's no one like you in the whole world. He waves a humble goodbye, and promises to be back again, heads out the door, and you know in your heart that you are growing inside.