One hundred years ago, when I first moved to Connecticut, I was overwhelmed. I was working at a new job where I very much wanted to succeed, trying to get the lay of the land in a state that was utterly confusing to me, and I was living in the old Parkview Hilton in Hartford with a husband and a toddler while our apartment was being readied. (You’d think living off of room service at someone else’s expense would be fabulous, but let me tell you, it gets old.) I was telling myself that I’d made a horrible mistake, moving east.
But then I’d come home and flip on the television and there would be Mr. Rogers, smiling and speaking in a calm voice and reassuring me that everything was going to be OK. He’d slip off his shoes and put on his house sneakers, and the cast of goofy characters would come by — Mr. McFeeley, Lady Aberlin and the rest — I would feel that knot in the back of my neck relax.
There was never what you could call an interesting story line and the production values were, well, not fabulous, but there was something about the show’s vibe that worked for me. I’d never watched Mr. Rogers before because I thought the show was better watched high and I am drug-free, but Mr. Rogers? I take that back. You got me through a difficult time and I love you. Even years later, the show will come on and I will sit and watch and feel myself settle down a little.
You can read more about the venerable television host (and Presbyterian minister) here. And I love the fact that even though he’s been gone nearly 10 years, someone thought to autotune him, and we are still talking about him (including whether he was a Navy SEAL or had a violent criminal past or bit the heads off of chickens in his spare time — none of which is true. There is no link for the chicken-biting as I totally made that up.).
Anyway. Thank you, Mr. Rogers.