Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do You Have A Sweater?



If so, please won't you wear it tomorrow?

(Addendum to original post: If you send me a photo of you wearing a sweater, I'll post it next week and give you a link to your site!)


If you've been coming here for any significant length of time, you know how I feel concerning the late Fred Rogers. In my estimation, he was an actual saint walking among us here on Earth.

If you are somehow unaware of who he was, this piece I wrote gives a decent history of the man. For a really nice story about the effect Fred Rogers could have on people, see this additional piece.

(The offer I made in the former piece, concerning the book, still stands.)

Here's the deal concerning the sweater: Friday, March 20th, is the anniversary of the birth of Fred Rogers. If he were still alive, he would have been 81. As a token of the deep respect and appreciation some folks have for his lifework, we will wear sweaters tomorrow, much as he always donned one upon the start of each episode of his TV show.

I think it's a wonderful way to let people know that his memory lives on, and that his values are still cherished and worthwhile aspiring towards.

From the Family Communications (Rogers' non-profit production company) website:

(Pittsburgh) February 27, 2009– Since 1968, when Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood made its national public television debut, Fred Rogers began each episode with his simple signature question in song: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Last year, the nation joined together to answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” as news anchors, librarians, students and CEO’s alike donned their favorite sweaters in honor of what would have been Rogers’ 80th birthday on March 20, 2008.

This year, the group that started it all is turning “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day into an annual tradition by asking the world to once again wear a sweater on March 20 in honor of America’s favorite neighbor.

“It started simply enough,” explains Margy Whitmer of Family Communications, Inc. (FCI is the nonprofit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers.) “We wanted to recognize Fred in a way that would reflect his deep appreciation of what it means to be a caring neighbor.”

So, “’Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day – WYBMND for short, although not by much – was born as a means of promoting neighborliness throughout the region.

“We’re asking everyone everywhere – from Pittsburgh (where Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was filmed for 40 years) to Paris -- to wear their favorite sweater on March 20,” says David Newell, FCI’s public relations director and Mr. McFeely. “It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program; it just has to be special to you.”

“What’s been so encouraging,” Whitmer says, “is the continued enthusiastic response from people all over the country. We’ve marked this date to give
organizations and institutions the opportunity to create an event that encourages the people in their communities to be caring neighbors. We're also hoping that individuals will connect one-on-one with their neighbors in caring ways and that it will become an annual national day of community service.”


For more information about “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day, please visit: www.fci.org/neighbor.

As Fred said, so beautifully and so often, "There is only one person in the entire world exactly like you, and each person can like you exactly the way you are."

I like you exactly the way you are, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, should you choose to participate in this wonderful celebration of Mister Rogers and his good works.


Soon, with more better stuff.


35 comments:

David Sullivan said...

Nothing more comforting than sitting on my couch, in my "feety" PJ's on a rainy morning listening to the dulcet tones of Mr. Rogers reminding me to say please and thnk you.

Sandi McBride said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. My older son actually cried after learning of his death. He had such fond memories of Mr. Rogers...and I still have their "feety" pajamas that they wore while laying on pillows on the floor being entertained and educated! Thanks so much for the reminder...I have my sweater on!
Sandi

Angie Ledbetter said...

What a great idea to dedicate a day to the best Neighbor ever. (I'll wear a sweater tomorrow, even if it IS in the 80s here.) :)

Embee said...

He was an integral part of my childhood. What a great way to honor his memory. I'll be wearing a sweater and reminiscing tomorrow!

lime said...

i really have to agree with you. he was a saint among men. i am glad i was able to grow up with his brand of gentleness. i'll be wearing my sweater!

endangered coffee said...

Then I shall wear a sweater tomorrow, my friends

jinksy said...

Guess practically the whole of England will be wearing sweaters tomorrow - simply because most of it is still pretty parky, as far as temperatures go! Always a good day to be neighbourly, anyway...

Katney said...

I'll wear my sweater.

The word verification is pants. I'll wear those, too.

jill said...

we loved Mr. Rogers. sweaters are out and ready for tomorrow. =D

Janet said...

I'll wear the sweater my mother knitted for me. And the kids can wear theirs. Tomorrow is supposed to be perfect sweater weather, and it's storytime at the library, so I can even look for the book. Seems fitting.
How did I miss this post last year? Have I really been reading you less than a year?

GreenJello said...

I miss Mr. Rogers. He was amazing. He was my television friend when I was little.

John-Michael said...

You, My Darling SulDog Friend, have touched the chord, of resonating Joy, that is Fred Rogers. Forever, I will bow in grateful appreciation and respect, at the mention of his name. The man is one of Life's clear and distinct reminders of the Power and Grace of Love. Thank You, Jim, for carrying forward, his Spirit.

Lovin' Ya ...

Buck said...

I don't own a cardigan but I will MOST definitely begin the day with a pull-over on... it's still chilly in the early hours here. The sweater prolly won't last the day, though... seeing as how we'll be in the mid-70s tomorrow.

This is a great way to honor a fine gentleman. My kids grew up with him, so to speak... watching Mr. Rodgers, along with Sesame Street, was a daily activity when the older boys were tykes. My, how time flies... both kids are (or are soon to be... in one month or less... in one case) grandfathers now. You know what that makes ME, LOL!

Embee said...

Suldog - I'll happily and proudly wear the sweater, but I'm skittish about cameras, so you won't get a picture of me in a sweater. But I might take a picture of just the sweater for you ;)

ciara said...

i'll try to see if i can scrounge up a sweater...if i can remember to take a pic and send it on top of flash fiction & fatherhood friday hehe :)

Ribbon said...

Mr Rogers sounds like he was a much loved guy... Unfortunately I'd never heard of him over here in Australia. Sorry can't begin to wear what you call a sweater (we call them jumpers or cardigans if they have an open front) as it is way too hot and I would possibly be carted away in an ambulance if I considered wearing one :-)
Best wishes... that was a nice read Ribbon

Hilary said...

I love that you honour this gentleman as you do. He was one in a million. Thanks for helping to keep his fine memory alive. I'll wear a sweater tomorrow.

Thimbelle said...

I shall wear a sweater. I still love Mr. Rogers, and I have many fond memories of The Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

When Twinks was a tiny girl, we would watch Mr. Rogers every morning together. Twinks especially loved the Trolley, and always waved at the TV whenever Trolley came into view. One day, when she was not quite three years old, we were shopping, and she spied a bright, shiny penny on the floor of the store. As she held it out to me, I said "Oh, look! A penny!" She shook her head no, and said "Look, Mama! Mista Wojers! Twolley!" Because in her magical little world, that *was* Mr. Rogers and her beloved Trolley, right there on that penny.

To this day, I can't pick up a penny without thinking of Mr. Rogers! :)

Melissa said...

Mr. Rogers brings back many memories from my childhood. My daughter watched him as well, and really liked The Land of Make Believe.

Jeni said...

My kids watched and loved Mr. Rogers. Come to think of it, I often watched it too, kind of over their shoulders type viewing ya know. I was gonna be a bit of a smart aleck and ask if my robe, donned over a tee shirt to ward off the chill in the house this morning would count but I will change a bit later today and yes, I will wear a sweater then -most definitely! I'll tell Mandy that Maya needs to wear a sweater to school today too in honor of the memory of a such a great person, which he most certainly was. Thanks for the reminder about this as I'd never heard of the "Wear a sweater" thing today until your post. Peace. and God Bless.

Carolina said...

I'm coincidentally wearing a similar thing that Mr. Rogers is wearing on that picture, so if that is a sweater, I'm wearing one. Not fond of being in front of a camera, so won't be posting my picture, but my thoughts are with all sweaterwearing people today. And with Mr. Rogers.

Jenn said...

What an awesome idea. Thanks Jim!

Shammickite said...

I don't think I ever saw Mr Rogers on TV (I didn't grow up on the USA side of the Atlantic), but I have certainly heard of him. I'll wear a sweater in his honour though, just because you told me to. I assume that what you call a sweater is what i would call a cardigan???

Suldog said...

Yes, for those who are unsure of what a "sweater" is, it is a cardigan (or wooly, or pullover.)

Moannie said...

I shall be wearing not one but two sweaters more than likely, as even though the sun is shining it is pretty chilly still. I shall think of Mr.Rogers who sounds like a lovely bloke. Great tribute,Suldog.

Nana Net said...

Going to put one on now! And what a magnificent piece you wrote. How I miss Mr. Rogers on TV! Just not anything as great as he anymore on TV! Well off to find a sweater now. Take care & thanks for the comments this week! You are such a sweetheart!

Pearl said...

I cried when I heard that Mr. Rogers died. He gave children voices, he made them feel safe, and he made them feel like there we adults out there who listened.

I would send a picture of myself in a sweater if I had access to one...

Pearl

Cath said...

I love my cardis (as I call them). I have a few oversized cardigans and there is nothing better than curling up on the couch and wrapping my cardy around me. I wore one today, but I have to confess that it was before I read this post and was to be worn anyway! But I definitely wore a cardy...!
(This is the North of England. = cold.)

Anali said...

Awww. What a nice tribute to Mr. Rogers. I always used to feel so comfy watching him with his zip up cardigans. ; )

Debbie said...

I loved him too. What a great man.

Woman in a Window said...

Sweet, Sudog, very sweet.

T said...

What a very nice Tribute!

i beati said...

worn with pride and many smiles Sandy

Jeni said...

Oh by the way -I did a post on Saturday about "Sweater Day" and even added three pictures of Maya and me (Grammy) sitting on the sofa, wearing our sweaters of the day! See, I can follow directives every now and again!

Cocotte said...

Stopped over here from Lime's..I wasn't aware of the sweater day last week, but I did happen to wear one that day. My kids really enjoyed Mr. Rogers and we have fond memories of riding the trolley in his "neighborhood" at Storybook Forest in PA.