Many of you are probably guilty like I was of poking fun of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. How many of you rolled off of the couch laughing at Eddie Murphy’s urban parody; Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood? I did not watch Mr. Rogers as I was growing up. His show was on PBS and we generally could not get reception where I lived. I was more of a Captain Kangaroo fan.
As we raised our children they had some Mr. Rogers sprinkled in between Sesame Street and Barney. My son still remembers an episode when Mr. Rogers showed how Crayons were made. I actually had my own encounter with Mr. Rogers. We had the same optometrist and I ran into Mr. Rogers as I waited for an appointment many years ago. We did not, but it was cool to have encountered this TV giant.
One thing that I often wondered about Mr. Rogers was whether the TV persona was different than his private personality. A number of years ago, Tim Madigan must have wondered the same thing. He traveled to Pittsburgh to interview Mr. Rogers for an article and became good friends. I’m Proud of You is Madigan’s recounting of the friendship that developed between him and Mr. Rogers.
The book is very touching and I was pleased to learn that Mr. Rogers in real life was the same Mr. Rogers on TV; probably even nicer. If you read the book you come to learn the significance of the book’s title and “starfish.”
Time Madigan describes one of my favorite things about Pittsburgh. If you are driving to Pittsburgh from the airport, you will pass through the Fort Pitt tunnels. When you come out of the tunnels, you get one of the most spectacular views of the skyline. I have lived here a very long time and still love that view, especially at night.
You can see that view even if you never travel to Pittsburgh. The Led Zeppelin movie, The Song Remains The Same, shows the band driving to a concert and they exit the tunnel to a nighttime view of Pittsburgh.