Thursday, February 27, 2003

From the In Box: Better Fred Than Dead
Thanks so much for the beautiful tribute to Mr. Rogers. I have always been a big fan. Interestingly, just yesterday, I was torturing my daughter with my rendition of "You Are Special" (I add a bit of drama and jazz to it to make it extra special). And a friend just said she had watched "The Neighborhood" two days ago, on a whim. He is part of our common television heritage and we are better for it.

When I was a child, my father was an executive at WNET, the New York PBS station. Because of his work, I was exposed to all of those great public television shows for children (as well as Monty Python at a very early age!). My father did not work directly with, but interacted many times with, Fred Rogers. Through the PBS connection, my mother developed a pen pal relationship with Fred (they had teaching and divinity degrees in common), and every year at Christmas we would receive a family Christmas card featuring Fred, the Mrs. and their two sons (who looked very much like him). Fred wrote a lovely note of condolence when my mother died, suddenly, five years ago.

Again, thanks for the thoughtful piece.
-- Mari Guarino

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