Please won’t you be …

Growing up in Wonder View right across the Susquehanna river from Bloomsburg, PA we didn’t have cable TV … we got the standard package of over the air staples — ABC, CBS, NBC, and my favorite, PBS. Back in the 70’s TV was a little different than it is today. There wasn’t time shifting, NFL Sunday Tickets, high definition channels, or anything like that … it was simple and it actually had some serious educational value. Everyday my parents would drop me off at an older couple’s home while they went to work at Bloomsburg University. In the evenings I would come home and play down in the lower level of our bi-level all the while watching and listening to Sesame Street, the Electric Company, and Zoom … but the real highlight of the day was always Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Usually it would be on during dinnertime and my Mom would come down and shovel the food into my mouth as I watched him take me through a wonderful half hour of learning. Wonderful memories that were brought back to me by watching the clip below from a 1969 Congressional Hearing on the original funding for public broadcasting. If you were ever a child, or have one this is a must watch. The world needs more neighborhoods run by Mr. Rogers.

4 Replies to “Please won’t you be …”

  1. His hearing on VCRs was great, too. Speaking out for the rights of individuals to do whatever (i.e., record/playback) they want with stuff broadcast on the public airways.

  2. Cole, I’m trying to remember if it was an audio recording I heard, or a transcript. Either way, I can’t seem to find the actual hearing online anywhere. It’s mentioned on Fred Rogers’ page on Wikipedia, but not much more than that. Stupid ephemeral online artifacts…

  3. I spent the first 7 years of my career in public broadcasting (first NPR, then PBS) and it was said more than once by people in that community that Fred Rogers saved public television.

    While I was working for Wisconsin Public Television, the promo department created a spot featuring Jeff Erlanger. Jeff was a Madison resident who had run for local office, and was very involved in city commissions, etc. He came into the studio to talk about his experience going on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a 10 year old.

    Here’s the clip of the spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxl4SPiKQDE

    Sadly, Jeff passed away this summer. But I think his story is an appropriate tribute to Fred Rogers as a human being; patience, tolerance, and kindness. I’m still bummed that he’s not here anymore.

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