Our last post was about color, its charming effect on others and how that can open up new possibilities in your own life. And so we follow it up with a man who regularly wore bright colors and who also charmed millions, the late, great Fred Rogers.
Last year Ivy-Style contributor Andy Owen wrote a tribute to the collar-pinned icon, and this year there’s a new documentary about the man entitled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” It’s being hailed as the perfect antidote to the acrimonious times in which we live.
So as you head into the weekend, break out some color, put a smile on your face, and spread a little love in your neighborhood. It might be contagious. — CC
Watch Fred Roger’s acceptance speech for his lifetime achievement award at the 1997 Emmys.
His words beautifully describe our reason for being with a purity of thought and intention that mesmerizes me every time I view it.
Fred Rogers is getting a lot of attention lately. The church that my wife attends recently had a guest pastor whose serman centered on this iconic personality. He used examples of how this gentle man had begun his life as a scout/sniper in the military and why he always kept his tattooed arms covered with long sleeves and a cardigan sweater. Trouble is..none of those perceptions about his early life are true. He was always the kind soul that we got to know on PBS. Unfortunately that preacher didn’t fact-check his sources, but took what sounded like good material for a sermon as “gospel” truth. Most of the 100+ people that heard that message came away with a perception of Fred Rogers that dishonors his reality. To my knowledge no one issued a correction to the congregation.
I’m going to buy a pair of yellow chinos today, Christian.
Attended Dartmouth, graduated Rollins, from PA but not a “Quaker”
15 years after his death, he is still an icon in the Pittsburgh area. A Presbyterian minister, he never had a church. His ministry was the children via TV. He was one of those people about whom you never hear a disparaging word. He once had his car stolen and when the thief discovered it was Fred’s, he brought it back.
I have never heard where he bought his clothes. The first Brooks store when they began to expand in 1960 was in downtown Pittsburgh where his studio was in the public TV station. His navy canvas boat shoes look like Top Siders.
The background music to the trailer is “Fish Beach” by Michael Nyman. I believe it was featured in “The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and Her Lover.”
I’m not sure about the remainder of Mr. Rogers’ wardrobe, but his mother made his sweaters.
In about 1970 I was channel surfing and came upon Mr. Rogers for the first time. I said to myself, “Wow! This guy’s a moron!”
Ten years later I watched Mr. Rogers with my 3 year old son. When I saw my son’s reaction to the show, I said to myself, “Wow! This guy’s a genius!”
Regarding Mr. Rogers’ wardrobe, as a former Pittsburgher, my best guess is that he probably shopped at the now defunct Kountz & Rider.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. According to my parents, I met Fred Rogers once as a very young child. I guess I was too young to remember it for myself. We went as a family to tour the studio where the program was filmed, and they allowed the kids to get up close with the puppets and the trolley car which transitioned between Rogers’ house and the make believe neighborhood featured in most episodes. I met Rogers’ on-air neighbor and mailman, “Mr. McFeely” (a terrible name for a children’s show character, especially in light of the Catholic Church molestation scandals, among others) when I was old enough to remember it, but still young enough to be excited by it.
All this to say, Fred Rogers was a great man. The fact that his influence has only strengthened since his death is a wonderful testament to his legacy and the values he espoused.
I just introduced my son to Mr Rogers a few weeks ago. He loved the show. Reflecting on this now, he’s the kind of leadership we need. I’d like to see a new litmus test for public influence—those who are unkind and do not have a deep desire to serve the public good need not apply!
Just saw the movie this afternoon at Newport’s Jane Pickens Theatre. The Reverend Fred Rogers’ impeccable Ivy style is only the least of his exemplary attributes. Nevertheless, throughout the film his look is as classic and timeless as is his message of kindness and compassion.
By the way, the film has footage of him and his family on Nantucket where they long had a home, although other than a brief shot of a son in a Nantucket tee-shirt, the locale itself is never mentioned.
Yes, indeed in this time of chaos and acrimony the world needs another Fred.
I don’t know exactly why but I’ve started to mentally note which guys in the news wear buttondowns and which do not. For instance, Sanders, yes. Mueller, yes. Cohen, no. Pence: before, yes;now, no.
Perhaps a good elementary school project? Brookly Rob, where are you?
Never watched Mr. Rogers as a young person. Watched the show in my forties, liked the tours of Pittsburgh localities. Shut off the show when the real kids stuff came on.
I agree, Mr. Mcfeely is a terrible name for the benevolent delivery man. BUT, he was named in a simpler,innocent time. Watch any old tv show from back in the 50s and 60s. Totally innocent behavior would be construed today as criminal acts. Mr. Rogers today would never be permitted to be alone with his tv neighbor.
The world is a messed up place.
PS Fred Rogers always reminded me of Jimmy Stewart’s Ellwood P. Doud in Harvey. A gentle soul.
In the past, this would have been an elementary school project, today it would be an assignment for college students.
@ Old School
You are probably right. Either that or one of the less intelligent. Ivy forums.
“…antidote to the acrimonious times in which we live.”
Well stated, CC.
According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id seeks immediate pleasure–often sensual. This is the pleasure principle. It seeks the immediate gratification of all desires and urges, most of which are primitive. The list includes thirst, hunger, sex, and, equally important, the release/expression of anger. Please takes the form of (real or perceived) release — of anxiety and tension.
Ideally the the ego develops as we grow older– helping us to control the many urges of the id. The ego grounds us in the real world. Many of the id’s needs and desires are met, but, if the ego is strong, in ways that are acceptable to our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and colleagues. This, the reality principle, stands in opposition to the pleasure principle. The practical result? One is able to resist the desire for immediate gratification for urges. Practically speaking, the result is good manners. Patience. Social awareness. Even politeness.
We now live in a world populated by leaders who have, for all practical purposes, sanctioned immediate gratification in is many (damaging) forms–doing and saying what they want without thought of the harm brought to others (or self). Thank God for Mr. Rogers and others like him, whose ego (in the best sense of the world) is mature and strong.
One might even say it’s a “super” ego.