Chicago Reader Reporter Shares His “Mister Rogers & Me” Story
He described the film simply and succinctly as “A road trip in which the video maker asks media types, activists, and religious figures (Tim Russert, Linda Ellerbee, Davy Rothbart) how Rogers’s message of simplicity, self love, and neighborliness inspired their own work and worldview.”
“As someone who grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and then met Fred Rogers in adulthood,” he wrote, “I can tell you it was a surreal, blissful, enduring experience.”
I Tweeted Mike, and then emailed him, encouraging him to share his story. On Sunday afternoon he did so in his article, “Mister Rogers Never Dies, He Just Multiplies.”
Mike was walking to a friends radio show across Schenley Park Bridge in Pittsburgh after a creative writing conference featuring Tobias Wolff (my Senior Creative Writing Seminar professor at Syracuse University!) when he noticed Mister Rogers just a few paces behind him. The conference, Mister Rogers said, was wonderful.
“So many writers, but each one has something different and special to say.”
Mike spent the balance of his radio show talking about Mister Rogers, not the conference. A few days later, a package arrived with a note.
How good it was to meet you on the bridge! It didn’t dawn on me that it would mean so much to you, but when I listened to your report I was touched that you cared as you did. As the autumn begins I thought you might like the enclosed to keep you warm—as you have warmed my heart by your enthusiastic kind words.
“He listened and it warmed his heart,” Mike writes. “And that keeps on giving.”
It does, Mike. Bravo! And thank you.
What’s your “Mister Rogers & Me” story? Tell us below in the comments, or email me Benjamin At MTVi Dot Com!