|THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers|
Mister Rogers does not change into his sweater and sneakers as usual. Instead, he sings a slightly different version of Won't You Be My Neighbor as he enters: "...a beautiful day for an opera. Would you like one? I know I'd like one..." He promptly introduces the newest Neighborhood opera: A Granddad for Daniel.
The opera opens as Grandparents' Day is underway and Daniel Mefford (played by Daniel Striped Tiger) talks with his parents about his grandfather. Daniel's father, Charles Mefford (Neighbor Aber), shows him a picture of his grandfather and reminds Daniel that his grandfather left long ago. Both Daniel's father and mother leave for the jungle -- Daniel's father, a professional polisher, on foot, and his mother (Lady Aberlin), a trolley conductor, with a few passengers on her trolley. Along with Daniel, Mrs. Mefford's passengers include a straw salesman who has traveled the world.
The trolley's first stop is as an aquarium where the salesman (Reardon) watches the fish (Bob Dog, Chef Brockett, Miss Paulificate) swim and meets a star fish (Betty Okonak Templeton).
Stopping next at the police station, the officer on duty (Officer Clemmons) takes a straw from the salesman and is reminded of a touching song his grandfather once sang. Daniel becomes somewhat emotional wondering if his own grandfather ever thinks of him. After the trolley passengers have departed, the officer notices a striking resemblance between the salesman and a picture on a missing-persons poster.
The final stop for the trolley is in the jungle where Daniel's father is hard at work. As everyone is introduced, the star fish mentions that she and the salesman have decided to get married -- she will be the new Mrs. Mefford. It is then that everyone realizes that the salesman has the same last name as Daniel's family -- he is Daniel's grandad! Together in celebration, the Meffords take a trolley ride around the world.
Back at the house, Mister Rogers talks about how grandparents are a part of you, even when they are not around. He closes by singing a small portion of the song sung by Officer Clemmons during the opera.
With Fred Rogers
Produced in association with WQED/Pittsburgh
Appearing In This Episode
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