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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default 15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever

    15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayof...bor/index.html

    By Mangesh Hattikudur

    (Mental Floss) -- Here are 15 things everyone should know about Fred Rogers:

    1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English.

    What most people don't know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she'd always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

    2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town.

    Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it." Mental Floss: Memorable commencement speakers

    3. He watched his figure to the pound. In covering Rogers' daily routine (waking up at 5 a.m.; praying for a few hours for all of his friends and family; studying; writing, making calls and reaching out to every fan who took the time to write him; going for a morning swim; getting on a scale; then really starting his day), writer Tom Junod explained that Mr. Rogers weighed in at exactly 143 pounds every day for the last 30 years of his life.

    He didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine. And while I'm not sure if any of that was because he'd mostly grown up a chubby, single child, Junod points out that Rogers found beauty in the number 143.

    According to the piece, Rogers came "to see that number as a gift... because, as he says, "the number 143 means 'I love you.' It takes one letter to say 'I' and four letters to say 'love' and three letters to say 'you.' One hundred and forty-three."

    4. He saved both public television and the VCR. Strange but true. When the government wanted to cut public television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington.

    Almost straight out of a Frank Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million.

    Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR's to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family. Mental Floss: Forgotten kids shows sure to give you nightmares

    5. He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.

    Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, "God loves you just the way you are." Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

    6. He was genuinely curious about others. Mister Rogers was known as one of the toughest interviews because he'd often befriend reporters, asking them tons of questions, taking pictures of them, compiling an album for them at the end of their time together, and calling them after to check in on them and hear about their families. He wasn't concerned with himself, and genuinely loved hearing the life stories of others.

    And it wasn't just with reporters. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec's house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host).

    On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver's home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

    7. He was color-blind. Literally. He couldn't see the color blue. Of course, he was also figuratively color-blind, as you probably guessed. As were his parents, who took in a black foster child when Rogers was growing up. Mental Floss: Praise for the blind genius who invented cruise control

    8. He could make a subway car full of strangers sing. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn't be noticed.

    But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.

    9. He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other's faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn't be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won't fit!), to divorce and war.

    10. He was an Ivy League dropout. Rogers moved from Dartmouth to Rollins College to pursue his studies in music.

    11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.

    12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.

    13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant. He helped puppeteer and operate the trolley.

    14. Several characters on the show are named for his family. Queen Sara is named after Rogers' wife, and the postman Mr. McFeely is named for his maternal grandfather who always talked to him like an adult, and reminded young Fred that he made every day special just by being himself. Sound familiar? It was the same way Mister Rogers closed every show.

    15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his mother.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid and The Electric Company. Who can forget Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader!

    I thought Sesame Street blew chunks.
    "Viking - last to sleep, first to rise, last to leave, that's how the Nords of old rocked the house." ~ timmac in the 'Texas Linkers' thread talking about yours truly. :-)

  3. #3
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    The guy was a Saint. Plain and simple....
    "It doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you..." -Neil Young

    "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." -Bob Dylan

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  4. #4
    Future's in the past....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid and The Electric Company. Who can forget Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader!

    I thought Sesame Street blew chunks.
    Where's all the love for Big Bird?
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    That's a cool read. I actually have a friend who works with Koko the gorilla now.
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  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing!
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    very cool, you gotta love the guy

  7. #7
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post

    I thought Sesame Street blew chunks.
    This version of Sesame Street is pretty good though...


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=NShgvtEro7I
    "It doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you..." -Neil Young

    "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." -Bob Dylan

    "If you go out and buy a Van Halen record and put it in your collection, it'll melt your other records." -David Lee Roth, 1981.

    Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?
    Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it's DULL, you twit!!! It'll HURT MORE!!!

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace Ventura View Post
    This version of Sesame Street is pretty good though...


    http://youtube.com/watch?v=NShgvtEro7I
    Nice!
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  9. #9
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    Fred rocked....he was a inspiration to help us parents. Wish I could keep my weight the same for the last 30 years....

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid and The Electric Company. Who can forget Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader!

    I thought Sesame Street blew chunks.
    You're kiddin' me, right??? Sesame Street totally RAWKED! It was revolutionary children's television programming. And The Electric Company...ya watched that when you thought you were too old (and cool) for the Street.....LOL. Actually I, like many other adults I'm sure, still enjoy the characters on Sesame Street.


    Now Mr. Rogers....man, I never got that AT ALL. It was sooooooo slooooowwwwww. It's what ya watched when you had to take a nap. Don't get me wrong, Fred was a beautiful human being...but as a kid, I never understood the appeal of watching a guy change his shoes and button up his sweater.
    .

    .
    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the truly great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

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  11. #11
    Eruption
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    Im the same weight as I was when i graduated high school in 84.
    142lb.
    I guess I'll eat a cheese steak.
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  12. #12
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by eden View Post
    You're kiddin' me, right??? Sesame Street totally RAWKED! It was revolutionary children's television programming. And The Electric Company...ya watched that when you thought you were too old (and cool) for the Street.....LOL. Actually I, like many other adults I'm sure, still enjoy the characters on Sesame Street.


    Now Mr. Rogers....man, I never got that AT ALL. It was sooooooo slooooowwwwww. It's what ya watched when you had to take a nap. Don't get me wrong, Fred was a beautiful human being...but as a kid, I never understood the appeal of watching a guy change his shoes and button up his sweater.
    It wasn't about the shoes for me. I loved the land of make-believe. My favorite was X the owl though he rarely made an appearance. Lady Elaine scared the hell out of me but her friendship with Danielle Tiger made up for it. I loved the traffic light in the house and remembered the episode where his fish died and he buried it in the backyard and taught kids about death and mourning.

    I'm with Ace Ventura. The man was a saint. I wish there were more people like him.

  13. #13
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    I always knew Mr Rogers was a good guy, I had no idea to what extent though.
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  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    Did anyone else smile while reading this? And while you were reading, say outloud; "Wow...that's really cool."

    Reading that was like hearing a story about your grandfather that you'd never heard before.

    By the end, did it make you a little less frustrated, angry or depressed about your day?

    Or...was it just me??

    Oh...and I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say that my eyes got a little moist.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs Meanie View Post
    It wasn't about the shoes for me.
    I know....and I didn't mean any disrespect. It just wasn't my thing.


    Lady Elaine scared the hell out of me.....
    I'm with ya on that one....

    I'm with Ace Ventura. The man was a saint. I wish there were more people like him.
    no doubt.
    .

    .
    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the truly great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

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