Wear a Sweater on Fred Rogers' birthday
March 19, 2008 2:29 PM   Subscribe

As part of Won't You Be My Neighbor? Days in Pittsburgh, and in honor of what would've been Fred Rogers' 80th birthday, Mr. McFeely is requesting that you wear your favorite sweater on March 20. "It doesn't have to be like the one Mr. Rogers wore, it just has to be special to you."

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posted by Lucinda (46 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Aw. If I owned a sweater, I would wear it for Mister Rogers' birthday.

(Former public television employee pedant: Mister Rogers. Not Mr.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:39 PM on March 19, 2008

back in the olden days, it was misterogers.

anyway, i'll wear a sweater over my mister rogers t-shirt.
posted by stubby phillips at 2:49 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pittsburgh represent!

Does anyone seriously not love Mister Rogers?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:52 PM on March 19, 2008

Entire religions have grown up around people with far less moral fiber.
posted by found missing at 2:57 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Poolio at 3:07 PM on March 19, 2008 [10 favorites]

For anyone in Pittsburgh that wants to see those sights that the littlest brussels sprout mentioned , the dinosaur is now at WQED on Fifth Avenue in Oakland. The mural is near Forbes and Atwood Street in Oakland. Google Street view works on those links. I guess Oakland is Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (trolley service was discontinued in 1967 sadly.)
posted by ALongDecember at 3:23 PM on March 19, 2008

For those who've somehow missed them, MeFi does Mister Rogers very, very well.

I've already got my cardigan ready for tomorrow.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 3:28 PM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

Speedy McFeely has been my stylist for many years. He didn't tell me he was going public with his services.
posted by grounded at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2008

december: i ride the trolley to work every day. it's still here. just doesn't go to forbes field any more.
posted by stubby phillips at 3:47 PM on March 19, 2008

No problem. One black cashmere cardigan locked and loaded for you, Mister Rogers.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:48 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

That's great, and we can all pretend it's in honour of my birthday, which is also tomorrow.
posted by evilcolonel at 3:50 PM on March 19, 2008

I own my late grandfather's favorite cardigan - a brown argyle Italian number with leather buttons. It must be at least 50 years old. He wore it every evening in cold weather when he came home from work and I always referred to it as his "Mister Rogers sweater." It will be a pleasure to sport it in honor of Fred Rogers tomorrow. Thanks for the links.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 3:56 PM on March 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

Crap. Well, first of all, it's *already* March 20th here in Australia. So I missed it. And secondly, we're just coming out of summer. It's been sweltering here for the past two weeks. Wearing a sweater would kill me! So that sucks.
posted by web-goddess at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2008

web-goddess, I think a plimsoll exception to the sweater cause would be more than okay.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 4:37 PM on March 19, 2008

I've had a real shit day and a half that's probably not going to get much better, so in honor of Fred Rogers I thought I would put on a cardigan early, one that I've had for years. It's actually one that my wife while we were dating stole from me until one day when I did the laundry, saw it, and said, "Hey, that's my sweater!" to which she replied, "Huh, guess it is." and I grabbed it back. Wearing it this short time hasn't made me feel better about the last couple of days in the least, but remembering Mister Rogers has made me at least feel hopeful about humanity for a little while again, just like remembering him and what he did for thousands of children always does for me. For that, I just wanted to say that I'll be wearing it again tomorrow and, finally, thanks for posting this Lucinda.
posted by sleepy pete at 4:43 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

He used to say something like, "Children should feel loved and safe." He did it for me!

Sweater Ahoy!
posted by snsranch at 4:46 PM on March 19, 2008

i think flapjax maybe ougtta say something about handyman joe negri. cuz damn.
posted by stubby phillips at 4:53 PM on March 19, 2008

Love him! I'm wearing my favorite sweater today, but no harm wearing it again tomorrow (barring a dining accident).
posted by owhydididoit at 4:55 PM on March 19, 2008

Aw poo. It's going to be too warm tomorrow, but today would have been perfect.
posted by middleclasstool at 4:59 PM on March 19, 2008

It's still freeeeezing here in Toronto, so I'll pretty much be wearing a sweater anyway.
But tomorrow I'll put on my favourite for Mister Rogers.

When I was a little kid, coming home for the school lunch-hour in the late 70's, Mister Rogers used to be on TV right after we ate lunch. I would love watching it and for some reason the whole idea of the trolley just captivated me. But most of the time my older brother would switch the channel to The Flintstones and call me a baby.

A few months ago, there was slim pickings at the library and I checked out the book I'm Proud of You, by a journalist in an unhappy time of his life who interviewed Fred Rogers and ended up striking up a decade-long friendship with him. The next morning I was reading it and sobbing.
posted by chococat at 5:01 PM on March 19, 2008

Where can I buy zip up sweaters? I think Mister Rogers had his made for him by a relative. I own zip up hoodies, but alas, no zip up sweaters.
posted by banished at 5:01 PM on March 19, 2008

I'll be sporting my cardigan around Squirrel Hill tomorrow. Catch me in Little's.
posted by chinston at 5:02 PM on March 19, 2008

stubby phillips: I was referring to trolley service in Oakland, not the T. Apparently Port Authority performed make-believe improvements on the 62 MAKE BELIEVE VIA FRIDAY CASTLE trolley route, and even has plans to extend the route to X's tree via a costly tunnel. The Trib is furious.
posted by ALongDecember at 5:46 PM on March 19, 2008

nevertheless, december, it'll reduce my daily walk by at least half a mile. also less goose-shit.

which is nice.
posted by stubby phillips at 6:01 PM on March 19, 2008

Since the Esquire piece seems to have been removed from their site, here's another link to the greatest magazine profile that I have ever read.
Can You Say...Hero?
posted by Optamystic at 6:04 PM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

even as we speak (type), there's a gigantic wild-wild-west-type boring machine burrowing its way beneath the mighty allegheny. isn't that the coolest thing?
posted by stubby phillips at 6:04 PM on March 19, 2008

Greatest Mister Rogers story ever:

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.”
posted by ALongDecember at 6:17 PM on March 19, 2008 [4 favorites]

Thank you for this post, I had not heard about this and would have felt bad finding out about it too late to wear a sweater tomorrow.
posted by briank at 6:38 PM on March 19, 2008

In honour of this, I must post this 2004 NYT article with a picture of cardigans...with Fred Rogers' face on them! Lovely. They were part of an art exhibit called "Fred Was Here," a tribute to Mr. Rogers.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:47 PM on March 19, 2008

Where's that sweater guy who did all the infomercials 15 years ago? I bet he'd have a hoot with this holiday.
posted by mr. creosote at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2008

creosote: The (late) Mike Levey. Host of Amazing Discoveries!, mocked here by Mr. Show.)
posted by ALongDecember at 7:27 PM on March 19, 2008

Since the Esquire piece seems to have been removed from their site, here's another link to the greatest magazine profile that I have ever read.

Many thanks, Optamsytic, and much agreed. I still remember the jolt I felt as I read the article in the magazine, and came to the part where Mister Rogers got naked at the pool. And then the gradual appreciation of what he had done as I read the rest of the article. (Because until that point Mister Rogers appeared most prominently in the National Lampoon characatures. Which, admittedly, were pretty funny: "Would you like to go to the Magic Kingdom?" "Ah, it's a little early for me, man."..."I like the way your mouth moves when you play the bass." "Man, you're easily amused."

But I digress. My appreciation for Mister Rogers crystallized later when, via MeFi, I viewed his speech before Congress, which still gives me goosebumps and makes me cry. It makes me think that carefully observing the little things, every day, and doing them right, and assiduously acting decently, can add up to a life that will have mattered when you are gone. Even if you die poor. Especially if...
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:53 PM on March 19, 2008

Was anyone else vaguely creeped out by "Mr. McFeely?"

McFeely was Fred Rogers's middle name, and his mother's maiden name. The character was named in honor of his mother.
posted by Dreama at 7:56 PM on March 19, 2008

banished asked: Where can I buy zip up sweaters?

I have a blue zip-up sweater I bought at Target a few years ago. I'm going to dig it out of the cedar chest and wear it tomorrow in honor of Mister Rogers, one of the few loving adults I encountered during my childhood.
posted by amyms at 8:06 PM on March 19, 2008

The congressional testimony still gives me goosebumps too, Turtles, thanks for the reminder.
posted by amyms at 8:07 PM on March 19, 2008

The character was named in honor of his mother.

Slight correction: The story has it that it was actually his maternal grandfather for whom Mr. McFeely was named. When he was a boy, his grandfather always told him that he made every day special just by being himself.

You may detect a future TV show theme in that last sentence.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2008

Okay, here's your daily dose of awesome: While googling for a cite for my previous comment, I discovered quickly that there is an Alaskan band called Mr. McFeely, who wrote a song about the death of Optimus Prime titled, appropriately enough, "The Death of Optimus Prime."

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for Al Gore and his Internets.

Hearty heart hearticle,
posted by middleclasstool at 8:21 PM on March 19, 2008

If rotten library can't find anything bad to say about you, you're a special person indeed.
posted by Rictic at 2:20 AM on March 20, 2008

The mural is near Forbes and Atwood Street in Oakland.

I have absolutely no recollection of that mural being painted. But one day, bam! Mister Rogers! With my attention skills, I'm lucky I haven't been hit by a bus or something.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 3:22 AM on March 20, 2008

Man, I wish this had been posted a few days earlier so I could prepare properly.
Here I am, at work, with NO sweater.
Feeling mighty sad.

I think I shall go watch some of those YouTube links to cheer myself up.
posted by willmize at 7:03 AM on March 20, 2008

Well this is weird. I didn't read this post until just now, but it so happens I wore a zip sweater today -- for the first time in months.

I'm far too old to have watched Mr. Rogers, but I suppose I'll wear it the rest of the day in his honor just the same.
posted by Herodios at 8:22 AM on March 20, 2008

I have my favorite argyle sweater on today. Yay Fred.
posted by fixedgear at 9:45 AM on March 20, 2008

I know I watched some Mister Rogers as a lad, but I never imprinted on the show like I did on Sesame Street.

Yet reading about him now reliably gets me choked up. I just put a hold request on I'm Proud of You at the library.

Here's a story of a Mister Rogers rerun catching a grown-up off-guard. (The link is to my excerpting it on my blog -- the original blog has gone 404.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:45 PM on March 20, 2008

I am proud to say that I lit one up with Mr. Roger's son on a ski trip once. He asked if we smoked and when one of my buddies said yes, he replied just like his Dad, "I knew you would."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:43 PM on March 20, 2008

I think Mister Rogers might be the only person in the universe that is completely impervious to the MeFi snark machine.
posted by flaterik at 11:19 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is a little late in the game (wore my cardigan!), but my co-worker did a little piece on This American Life about Mister Rogers ... it's quite good.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 11:09 PM on March 21, 2008

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