It’s been a long time since I listened to Mr. Rogers singing “Won’t you be my neighbor
?” But wow! I listened to it this morning and I had to look around me to see where the trolley was! Not only can you read the words on the PBS website, but they also have the recording of the song
AND the sheet music
! I couldn’t believe it! The sheet music!
I have a strong personal fondness for Mr. Rogers. In fact, he’s my hero. Many years ago when I used to be a checker at the Food Gallery (it’s gone now) he came through my line! I saw him waiting his turn and caught his eye and he gave me a smile. I think that my eyes got really big! I don’t quite remember, since from that moment on I was a bit starstruck! Not to mention in a hurry to get everyone else checked through. I was the speediest checker I ever was that day. But just for the people ahead of Mr. Rogers. Because when I got to his order I checked his groceries very, very slowly. He wasn’t in a hurry! He stood and listened and smiled and radiated a peaceful friendliness that I can still remember and enjoy. I wish I would have stepped out from behind the conveyor belt and given him a hug. Even though I didn’t, I’ve decided that his smile and his words were warm and huglike, and we can all have that anytime we see his picture, or read his books, or watch his show. I suspect that he was the kind of person who didn’t have to meet you first in order to consider you his friend.
I can’t speak for him, but I always got the idea that Mr. Rogers loved all his neighbors and felt that everyone he met was a neighbor. But I feel a little extra proud that the library is literally and physically right here in his neighborhood! We are just down the street from where he used to record Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and just down the street from where he used to live!
Mr. Rogers would have been 80 years old this March 20th. To celebrate his life we’re participating in offering family activities that are part of “Won’t You be my Neighbor?” Days. We’re not the only ones with something to offer! The Visit Pittsburgh website has a complete list.
Come to the library on March 18 for our Won’t You Be My Neighbor Family Storytime at 6:30. Right here in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood!
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