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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 Days of MRN Classics

With the holiday season officially upon us, what better way to celebrate than with a virtual advent calendar of classic Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes!

This month marks the two year anniversary of the Neighborhood Archive and it seems as though the classics have been the fan favorites so far. With that in mind, the countdown to Christmas will begin tomorrow with the first of the many classics I've yet to cover. Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Neighbor Scott’s Pittsburgh Visit

Many thanks to guest blogger, Scott...

Three weeks ago, my family and I drove out to Pittsburgh to see some of the Mister Rogers attractions. I received the idea to visit Pittsburgh from David Newell, who appeared at my church as Mr. McFeely during the summer. While driving around with him for two days, he suggested that Pittsburgh would be a good family vacation destination. And so we took him up on the suggestion and planned a Pittsburgh trip.

Our young children (2yrs and 3yrs) are huge MRN fans. Since our trip coincided with our younger son’s 2nd birthday, we spent his actual birthday at the Monroeville Mall Play area, documented on the Neighborhood Archive Blog. I learned about the playground from Tim’s blog—thanks Tim for reporting it! We enjoyed a Mrs. Field’s Cookie Birthday Cake at the Mall. Sarah, a Mrs. Field’s employee, did a great job putting the Neighborhood Trolley on the cookie.

We stayed in Pittsburgh for 3 full days. During that time, we visited the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, which features an interactive MRN exhibit. We also visited the Heinz History Museum, a fascinating museum which even included a newly completed life-sized wax statue of Fred. Our boys really enjoyed looking (and climbing) on the Fred Rogers statue on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Last but not least, we were even able to visit WQED.

Pittsburgh is definitely a Mister Rogers’ town. It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing his picture. For example, for lunch one day we ate at Primanti Brothers, a famous Pittsburgh sandwich restaurant. Guess whose cartoon picture we saw on the wall, with lots of other famous Pittsburgh citizens?

Since our boys love trolleys, on the way out of town, we stopped by the PA Trolley Museum in Washington, PA. Mister Rogers visited this museum in episode 1531. Jack, our tour guide, pointed to us the exact trolley Mister Rogers drove on the episode.

There were a few more MRN theme attracts that we weren’t able to see. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the MRN planetarium exhibit (at Carnegie Science Center) since the show times/dates didn’t coincide with the dates we were in town. The miniature railroad, also at Carnegie, was closed for remodeling. There is supposed to be a miniature version of Mister Rogers’ House on the layout. Of course, Idlewood Park was closed for the season. Idlewood has a MRN themed ride. I called the Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe, and the employee there was very honest with me and said that there wasn’t much available for the public to see, so it probably wasn’t worth the 45 minute trip.

Pittsburgh is a great family town. If you’re interested in taking a trip out East, I’d recommend spending a few days visiting the MRN and other attractions. You won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Episode 1530 - Work

Original Air Date: April 8, 1984

For details on Episode 1530 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Neighborhood Archive Notes: Take a look at this sheet music that showed up on eBay last week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A(nother) HUGE step forward!

The efforts have apparently continued on the part of the Fred Rogers Company to bring more episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood into our homes. Many of you have been expressing your desire for hard copies of these episodes rather than just digital downloads and it appears that you can now get just that.

Through Amazon, you can now purchase episodes on DVD (!) -- either individual episodes or a series of weekly episodes. While a bit pricey -- $9.95 for individual episodes and $29.95 for an entire weekly series -- here's your opportunity for the hard copies you've wanted. Take a look for yourself...

On each product page for the DVDs it states that "this product is manufactured on demand when ordered from" I assume this means that these DVDs are made on an as-needed basis and are likely simple DVD-R copies but with a professional picture quality (as opposed to recordings made from television broadcasts).

Either way, this is definitely another huge step forward!

Episode 1529 - Work

Original Air Date: April 7, 1984

For details on Episode 1529 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving from the Neighborhood Archive!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Episode 1528 - Work

Original Air Date: April 6, 1984

For details on Episode 1528 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Episode 1527 - Work

Original Air Date: April 5, 1984

For details on Episode 1527 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Episode 1526 - Work

Original Air Date: April 4, 1984

For details on Episode 1526 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Episode 1245 - The Snow People Opera [1972]

After the Snow People opera being mentioned a few days ago in Episode 1515, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at the original opera.

Original Air Date: April 28, 1972

For details on Episode 1245 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quick (Amazon) Notes

A few thoughts regarding the recent comments that have been left since the discovery of the episodes on Amazon Video On Demand...

First, I'm loving the excitement and enthusiasm I'm reading from everyone. I know that so many fans of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, myself included, were hoping that something like this would come about. I had wondered if such an opportunity did present itself, would we see any of the classic episodes or would an official release be limited to the episodes from 1979 and beyond. I'm thrilled to see that we're getting a healthy dose of both!

However, as much as I love the discussion that takes place on this blog, I am concerned with many of the recent comments regarding conversion of the Amazon files. If you purchase an episode, by all means, you're free to do with it what you choose. But Amazon does have specific terms of use in place and I do not want this blog or the Archive site associated with the violation of these terms -- especially if it comes to converting and redistributing the purchased episodes in any way. With permission from the Fred Rogers Company to maintain the Neighborhood Archive, I cannot have any discussion involving the violation of Amazon terms taking place on this site. While I completely understand the desire for DVD copies or universal video files, I would appreciate any comments regarding file conversion to be kept outside this blog.

That being said, I strongly encourage everyone to purchase these episodes if you have the means. I feel that $2 an episode is more than reasonable and that the Fred Rogers Company deserves every possible penny they can earn from these sales. My hope is that the purchase of these episodes will be solid enough that we will soon see many more episodes offered up!

Thanks for listening, everyone. Back to business as usual in the morning... :)

Episode 0004 [1968]

Original Air Date: February 22, 1968

For details on Episode 0004 visit the Neighborhood Archive.
Download this episode
from Amazon Video On-Demand.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Episode 1515 - Games

Original Air Date: February 11, 1983

For details on Episode 1515 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Neighborhood Archive Notes: If you've been using the link to Amazon from the post a few days ago, it will obviously be making its way down the page as new posts are made. For your convenience, feel free to use the link to the right to view the episodes available through Amazon Video On-Demand.

Episode 1514 - Games

Original Air Date: February 10, 1983

For details on Episode 1514 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A HUGE step forward!

Mister Rogers may have taught us that "wishes don't make things come true," but thanks to Amazon and the Fred Rogers Company, it looks like it certainly doesn't hurt to try. If you have not seen already, through Amazon's Video On-Demand feature you can now watch a good number of MRN episodes -- including several pre-1979 classics! Take a look for yourself...

Choose a "season" and scroll to the bottom to find the episodes offered. For roughly two dollars an episode, I'd say this is a huge step in the right direction!

Episode 1513 - Games

Original Air Date: February 9, 1983

For details on Episode 1513 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Episode 1512 - Games

Original Air Date: February 8, 1983

For details on Episode 1512 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Neighborhood Archive Notes:
This past week, I was finally able to track down a copy of the Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz LP for a really good price. As a result, I was able to add credit details and images of the record label to the archive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Episode 1511 - Games

Original Air Date: February 7, 1983

For details on Episode 1511 visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick Notes

I've got an extra copy of one of the early 1970's Rainy Day Club 45 records. A few weeks ago, I had no problem passing on a Mr. McFeely autograph so I thought I'd offer this record up here in case any of you might be interested. It's record MR100 which features Won't You Be My Neighbor on the first side and A Place of My Own on the second. It comes with the original Rainy Day Club record sleeve which shows a few signs of age but overall is in excellent condition. The record plays through just fine with no skips. If anyone is interested in this record, drop me a line and we can work out the details. I'd be glad to send it your way for a couple of bucks plus the cost of shipping (maybe 4 or 5 bucks total). Let me know if you're interested.

You may have voted in the poll I posted last week about possibly setting up a message board through the new site to better organize the discussion that is currently found within the comments sections of each blog post. Although setting up a message board won the popular vote, the handful of you who did voice your opinions were pretty much split down the middle. With that in mind, I think I'll leave things as they are for now. If comments continue to increase and more and more people begin to chime in, a message board may be something in the works in the near future. But for the sake of not changing too much too quickly, let's stick with the way things are.

One main feature I added this past week was a Frequently Asked Questions page. Since the blog first got going a few years back, I have received a regular flow of email -- often with very similar questions. I figured that a FAQ page might help to answer common questions for new visitors to the site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Festival of Many Things [1974]

DATE: 1974
PUBLISHER: Western Publishing Company, Inc. / Small World Enterprises
PURCHASE: (image on Amazon is inaccurate)

For details on Festival of Many Things, visit the Neighborhood Archive website.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Learned From Mister Rogers

Episode 1386 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood [May 13, 1974] features a visit to Bob Trow's workshop where Mr. Trow is demonstrating the art of screenprinting. Helping him in his workshop that day is Marion Young. Later in the episode, Mrs. Young stops by Mister Rogers' house to show a short film about a kindergarten class. Throughout the program, Mrs. Young's message is clear -- not only do children learn from teachers, but teachers learn from children, as well. Additionally, Mrs. Young set out to help ease the anxieties and worries that young children may experience as they start school.

I recently had the wonderful pleasure of speaking with Mrs. Young about her appearance on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Today, at the age of 76, Mrs. Young holds dearly her memories of Fred Rogers and his work with children. Many thanks to you, Mrs. Young, for generously sharing your time and your story.

For a complete transcript of our brief but touching conversation, visit