Mr. Rogers, the amazingly calming and friendly host of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”, lost his battle with cancer yesterday and passed away. When I heard the news, I was going through my own little bout with pain so I didn’t really react but late last night as the discomfort dimmed a bit I saw an interview with him done by ABC news a couple of years ago and he came across just as nice and sweet as he does on his show. I grew up with this guy. He was one of the few influences in my life whose sole purpose was to let me know that people are wonderfully unique and should be loved unconditionally. He spoke of some of the letters he used to receive from people who told him that his show helped them through a childhood filled with abuse and pain. They felt loved by him. And he admitted that his motivation was to let the children know that he did love them. At the end of the interview, the cameraman, who had filmed actors, presidents and heads of state, broke protocol and asked Mr. Rogers for a picture. The rest of the crew soon followed.
You’ll have to excuse me… I’m going to spend some time in “Neighborhood of Make Believe”. Visiting an old friend.