Remembering His Neighborhood

Fred Rogers.

He was without question one of the most memorable and influential people in the city of Pittsburgh and his demeanor and manner made the whole world smile and realize what is truly important in life. Today, the region and the nation is paying tribute to this man who invited us to his neighborhood every day on PBS and WQED. The tribute is a simple one: wear his trademark sweater to work today.

I was proud to do so, although I did get quite a ribbing from my fellow co-workers .. and Robin Roberts from “Good Morning America”. Wearing a red sweater vest under my jacket, Melanie told she couldn’t look at me … that I did not look like myself. After about 30 minutes, she finally compared me to the character “Carlton” on “The Fresh Prince”, if you can remember that far back.

All this playful kidding from the gang hammered home one point: that Fred Rogers was different. From the way he started his show with the song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” to his interaction with the characters on the program. Mr. Rogers did it “his way” and while it may not have been “cool” by our standards, he did it with a sense of style and elegance that transcends time. As I said this morning, only Fred Rogers could pull off the sweater look.

Then again, there were many things that only Fred Rogers could do … and that’s why he is truly missed on what would have been his 80th birthday. Thank you for letting us into your neighborhood.

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