This year is the 50th anniversary of the show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
A childhood staple for many, Mr. Rogers was a comforting voice to generations of kids. His kindness was not only part of his TV personality, but a genuine part of himself, as shown in this story from a fan.
Author Anthony Breznican took to twitter to share one of his most intimate and heartbreaking stories of the man we all know as our neighbor.
Fred Rogers was from Pittsburgh, my hometown, and my generation grew up loving this man, who taught us to be kind above all.
Fred Rogers was the real thing. That gentle soul? It was no act.
As I got older, I lost touch with the show, which kept running through 2001. But in college, one day, I rediscovered it.
I was having a hard time.
The future seemed dark. I was struggling, lonely, dealing with a lot of broken pieces and not adjusting well.
I went to Pittsburgh devoted everything I had to the school paper, hoping that would propel me into some kind of worthwhile future.
It was easy to feel hopeless. One span was especially bad. Walking out of the dorm, I heard familiar music:
"Won't you be my neighbor..."
The TV was playing in an empty common room. Mr. Rogers was there, asking me what I do with the mad I feel.
I had lots to spare. Still do.
It feel silly to say - it felt silly then– but I stood mesmerized. His show felt like a cool hand on a hot head. I left feeling better.
Days later, I get in the elevator at the paper to ride down to the lobby. The doors open. Mr. Rogers is standing there. For real.