UPDATE 3/20/2008: Today is "Won’t You Wear a Sweater?" Day. Let’s make the most of this beautiful day!
Andrew Stockey wrote a nice "happy birthday" message to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which today is 40 years old.
I mentioned this to my brother, who asked if I remembered the first episode. And then laughed.
But I may well have seen the first episode. At the least, I must have started watching early on.
The photo above is of me and my sister Laura dressing up like King Friday and Queen Sara. (I am King Friday because I’m bigger. This never seemed strange.) We’re standing in the kitchen of our house in Exton, PA, and it’s November or December of 1969.
Incidentally, the blanket Laura is wearing was a permanent fixture, like Linus’s blanket in the Peanuts comics. I have resorted to robing myself in a common afghan.
So clearly we were fans of the show within the first two years of its launch. Oh, we loved it. I was particularly fond of X the Owl, because even as a tot I was an insufferable know-it-all. I found Lady Elaine Fairchild kind of creepy.
Needless to say, I had no idea when we moved to the Pittsburgh area that we had moved closer to the actual Mister Rogers. I spent the first few years thinking that we had moved into a house that had previously been owned by a butler.
But back to my point: How lucky we were to have grown up with Mister Rogers! Happy birthday to the show, and many thanks to The Public Broadcasting System and WQED.