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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Episode 0023 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 20, 1968

  
Mister Rogers arrives with a thin case full of various kinds of eye glasses. After trying on several pairs of glasses, Mister Rogers talks about how he wanted to wear glasses when he was a child even though he did not need them. He then sings I Like You As You Are before watching a short film about how eye glasses are made.

Mr. McFeely stops by with a delivery for Henrietta Pussycat which Mister Rogers gladly delivers by way of the Neighborhood Trolley.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Nurse Miller opens the package to find a pair of blue eye glasses for Henrietta Pussycat. With her new glasses on, Henrietta passes her eye exam with flying colors before X the Owl expresses his desire for glasses of his own. Nurse Miller convinces X otherwise by singing Everybody's Fancy.

Moving on to the factory, Nurse Miller delivers a prescription to Corny who asks to schedule an eye examination.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers takes out a whale hand puppet named Whaley and places several pair of eye glasses on it. After convincing Whaley that he does not need glasses, Mister Rogers sings What Would You Like To Do Today.

The day concludes with a visit from Scott, a young friend with a pet raccoon named Willie.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0023 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Episode 0022 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 19, 1968

  
Mister Rogers arrives with an armload of large wooden boxes which he adds to several already inside the house. He talks about his recent visit to the White House where had the opportunity to see the President. Mister Rogers uses the blocks to build his own White House as he sings You're Growing.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Royal Coach Saunders is inside the castle where they take part in the "Chicken Fat" workout.

Returning to the house, Mister Rogers shows a postcard featuring a picture of the White House.

Meanwhile, Nurse Miller is providing yearly check-ups to those in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. At the tree, she examines X the Owl before moving on the the castle where she sings Once Upon Each Lovely Day and checks Donkey Hodie.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about some of the things that happen during a check-up.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0022 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Episode 0021 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 18, 1968

  
Mister Rogers arrives with two tubs of ice cream which he places in the freezer as he sings One and One are Two. Picture Picture shows a film about hope people make ice cream in a factory.

Chef Brockett stops by singing I'm a Chef. He and Mister Rogers go to the kitchen were Chef Brockett makes two snowmen -- one out of ice cream and another out of cupcake dough. The one made of dough is for Donkey Hodie who is breaking ground at the site of his new windmill.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, everyone is preparing for the groundbreaking. Lady Aberlin stops by the tree where she practices a song for the celebration -- a "Neighborhood" version of This Land is Your Land. Henrietta slows things down a bit by singing a quiet and peaceful song before Chef Brockett stops by with the "cupcake dough man."

Behind the castle, everyone gathers for the ceremony where King Friday delivers a speech and presents Donkey Hodie with a shovel to use in breaking ground for his new windmill. Donkey Hodie graciously accepts the shovel and the royal land provided by King Friday.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers explains what happens at a groundbreaking ceremony and talks about buildings being erected. He cleans up the kitchen as he sings You're Growing. Chef Brockett returns from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to collect his things and sings Tomorrow with Mister Rogers as they conclude for the day.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0021 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Episode 0020 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 15, 1968

  
Mister Rogers arrives with a model windmill given to him by a young friend who is having trouble getting it to work properly. Adding new batteries to the toy, Mister Rogers is able to repair the windmill before taking viewers on a pretend trip to a real windmill in the Neighborhood.

Judy Rubin stops by with a collection of windmills made by some Neighborhood children. She and Mister Rogers work together with a variety of craft materials to make windmills of their own.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Daniel Striped Tiger and Handyman Negri talk about Donkey Hodie's old habit of biting people. They wonder if King Friday's refusal to allow Donkey Hodie to build a windmill behind the castle is a result of his fear of being bitten. Handyman Negri sings Be Brave, Be Strong as he heads to the castle to talk with the King.

Upon arriving at the castle, Handyman Negri finds King Friday walking Mimus Polyglottos in the garden. When Donkey Hodie arrives, King Friday is clearly cautious of the Neighborhood's newest resident. Donkey Hodie explains that he no longer bites people and King Friday agrees to let him build his windmill behind the castle.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about growing before he sings Then Your Heart is Full of Love.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0020 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Episode 0019 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 14, 1968

  
Mister Rogers arrives with a toy raft made out of straws by a young friend. Putting on a sailing jacket, he takes the raft to a tub of water in the kitchen. Using a battery powered fan, Mister Rogers is able to move the raft in the water before adding a toy sailboat and other toys to the fun.

Scientist Alder stops by with an anemometer which he is using to check wind velocities around the Neighborhood on behalf of Donkey Hodie.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Scientist Alder continues checking wind speeds to help Donkey Hodie as he looks for an ideal place to build a windmill. After checking wind speeds throughout the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Scientist Alder determines that the best location for a windmill is behind the castle. Unfortunately, King Friday says that he likes his privacy and there is no royal land available.

Back at the house, Mister Rogers demonstrates an electric fan and suggests that there are some things that only grown-ups are allowed to use. After singing Parents Were Little Once Too, he concludes by demonstrating different kinds of fans.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0019 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mister Rogers & Me

Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.

Deep and simple. That is the message.


If you're a regular reader of the Neighborhood Archive, you're likely aware that this past Tuesday marked the release of the highly-anticiapted documentary from the Wagner brothers, Mister Rogers & Me. Based on title alone, this film may seem like nothing more than another Fred Rogers biography with a focus on one man's relationship with the beloved children's television icon. Let me assure you, this could not be further from the truth.

Mister Rogers & Me focuses little on the man and much on his message.

Deep and simple.

Back in 2003, producer Benjamin Wagner was told by Fred Rogers to "spread the message" -- and he has done just that. Through conversations with a variety of notable individuals, the message of "deep and simple" is solidified in those of us who grew up with regular visits to the Neighborhood and we are reminded of the authenticity of Fred Rogers -- both on and off the camera.

Certainly, Mister Rogers & Me is more than just another documentary. It is a challenge to better ourselves and to recognize the importance of what is deep and simple -- to appreciate every second and every moment, every person and every meeting, that we are blessed to experience.

While my focus on the Neighborhood Archive is mostly centered around the pop culture aspect of Fred Rogers' career, Mister Rogers & Me pinpoints the true crux of it all. The Neighborhood sets have been dismantled and the film has stopped rolling. Through time, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will fade into the television history books, but the message will remain.

This is why I do what I do. While I certainly enjoy detailing Fred Rogers' career from a cultural sense, it is my appreciation of his message that inspired my work to begin with. All of the music, the books, the toys, and the shows mean nothing without Fred's message as their foundation. As a husband, a father, and an educator, it is my hope that my message is the same.

Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.

Mister Rogers & Me
is currently available on Amazon, iTunes, and at MisterRogersAndMe.com.

For more on Mister Rogers & Me, take a listen to the Neighborhood Archive podcast with special guest, Benjamin Wagner.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Episode 0018 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 13, 1968

  

Mister Rogers arrives with a clarinet and talks about his childhood music lessons. He recalls that he did not practice enough and regularly did not live up to the expectations of his instructor. Mister Rogers plays a few notes before using the bell of the clarinet as a pretend telescope.

In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, clarinetist Louis Paul is inside the castle performing for King Friday. Mr. Paul plays Row Row Row Your Boat as King Friday sings along with his kingly lyrics -- Propel Propel Propel Your Craft. After talking about the importance of practice, they go to the T Room for tea.

Returning to the house, Mister Rogers sings You've Got To Learn Your Trade before taking out a pinwheel. As he demonstrates the pinwheel on the porch, Mrs. Russellite stops by on her way to visit Henrietta Pussycat. Mister Rogers gives her the pinwheel to take with her.

At the oak tree in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, X the Owl is going birdwatching and will not be there when Mrs. Russellite arrives. He asks Henrietta Pussycat to recite a poem for her that he has just made up.

When Mrs. Russellite arrives at the tree, she shows the pinwheel to Henrietta before being introduced to Donkey Hodie. Henrietta shares X's poem with a gracious Mrs. Russellite. Donkey Hodie is intrigued by the pinwheel and mentions his desire to live in a windmill.

For details and more screenshots from Episode 0018 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Adventure Club Podcast

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Guy and John J on the Adventure Club Podcast about Mister Rogers and the Neighborhood Archive.


Check it out at AdventureClubPodcast.com or on iTunes.

Thanks for having me on, fellas...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lost and Found Teddy Bear Opera

Let's wrap up this "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" with a special treat. Here's a look at the 1969 opera, The Lost and Found Teddy Bear.

Original Air Date: April 25, 1969

  
For details on Episode 1055 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Won't You Be My Neighbor Day 2012

 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Episode 0017 [1968]

Having had discussions on the blog before about the pictures hanging in Mister Rogers' kitchen, this episode offeres a close look at the picture hanging to the left of the refrigerator during this time period.
Original Air Date: March 12, 1968

  
For details on Episode 0017 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tunnel Vision

If you've ever visited Pittsburgh, you're likely aware of the tunnels that lead to the city from the outlying areas. You're driving through the tunnel's darkness when the sunlight appears and the city is revealed -- unseen from the other side. Here's a YouTube video that shows exactly what I'm talking about (although seeing it in person is much better). NOTE: You may want to knock the volume down some if there are kids in the room as there's a little bit of un-neighborly language in this video.

Taking a look at the intro to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood again, something caught my attention that I hadn't noticed before. As Daniel boards the Trolley and travels into his neighborhood, he takes a similar path to the one traveled in Pittsburgh.

  
Look for yourself in the opening seconds of the DTN intro.

While I have no verification that this similarity is intentional, I have to think that it is clearly a subtle nod to Pittsburgh.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Episode 0016 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 11, 1968

  
For details on Episode 0016 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Episode 0015 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 8, 1968

  
For details on Episode 0015 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 20th

If you're not aware, this coming Tuesday (March 20th) is a significant day among Fred Rogers fans for three reasons...

1. It's the 84th birthday of Fred Rogers. Period.

2. It marks this year's annual "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" celebrated by fans and appreciators of Fred's work worldwide. On this day, wear a sweater (unless it's 80+ degrees like it's supposed to be here in the Midwest), do something kind for your neighbor, or remember and honor Fred Rogers in your own way.

3. Tuesday is the official release day of the wonderful film from the Wagner brothers -- Mister Rogers and Me. Folks, if you've got the means, you need to see this. While there are documentaries out there which detail the dates and places surrounding the life of Fred Rogers, this film focuses on his message and his legacy. It's worth every second of your time and every penny it might cost you.

For more on this documentary, check out the Neighborhood Archive podcast from January where I spent some time talking with Benjamin Wagner about Mister Rogers and Me.

Buy the film or read more at MisterRogersAndMe.com.

Episode 0014 [1968]

Original Air Date: March 7, 1968

  
For details on Episode 0014 of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, visit the Neighborhood Archive.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shots of the Neighborhood Model

In addition to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe models and the opera episodes, it seems that one of the main topics that Neighborhood Archive readers find extra interest in is the model Neighborhood seen in the opening and closing of each episode. Most people have seen the modern Neighborhood models used in the later episodes, but what about the models from the program's first years? Going through these older episodes as I have been recently, I thought I'd take a break from the episode descriptions and take a closer look at these models.

Episode 0013 seems to provide the best look at the early model Neighborhood that I've come across so far. Below are a handful of screenshots from that episode's opening and closing sequences.

Here are a few from the Neighborhood showing how it was modified slightly for the 1969 episodes. These shots below are taken from Episode 1001, the first shown in color.