|THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers|
PUBLICATION: Jack and Jill
The door opens and in comes smiling Misterogers singing, "It's a lovely day in this neighborhood." He exchanges his topcoat and jacket for a comfortable house sweater and asks, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
This is Misterogers' Neighborhood, produced for you five times a week by NET, the National Educational Television network.
Misterogers always has interesting ideas for his half-hour program, and today he has a special something planned for us. Instead of settling down on a cozy sofa in his living room, he takes us into the bright, sparkling kitchen.
There Misterogers does have something special for us -- oranges! And until we hear Misterogers talk about them, we don't know how interesting oranges really are. Cutting one open, he shows us how juicy and meaty and delicious they are. An orange, he explains, can be squeezed into a glass for its juice, or cut into sections and eaten right from the rind.
The golden orange reminds Misterogers of the sun, and gives him an idea. Soon a ballet company is coming to dance for him and for us. As a "thank-you," he will give each dancer an orange, the finest present he has.
On other days Misterogers talks about and shows us new experiences we may have, such as getting our hair cut, or using the telephone, or having a new baby brother or sister. Once, he even took us to the dentist with him when he had his teeth examined.
Misterogers also tells us others things we might wonder about -- how to weave cloth, and how to make candles. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin made candles? Misterogers knows. He winds rope wicks on a candle frame, just as young Ben did long ago, and then dips them into melted tallow until the candles grow long and round and fat. After that, Picture-Picture-on-the-Wall shows us a movie about modern candle-making.
Sometimes Misterogers' neighbors drop by. Once in a while one of the ladies in the Neighborhood, Mrs. Rubin, brings handicrafts that her friends have made; the latest were wigs made from wool and newspapers. World-renowned pianist Van Cliburn has visited Misterogers, and so has opera singer John Reardon. Shakespearean actors and actresses, and dancers from India, come by too.
Sometime during every program we visit the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Misterogers brings out his telescope, makes himself comfortable on his sofa, and off we go following the Trolley. When we see the Museum-Go-Round and Daniel's Clock, we know that Trolley has arrived in the Neighborhood. King Friday XIII rules here, so of course every Friday the Thirteenth is a holiday.
Lady Elaine Fairchild, Corney, Grandpere (who speaks French), Farmer Bob, X the Owl, Lady Betty Aberlin (the King's niece), Henrietta Pussycat, and Chef Brockett (the King's personal cook) hustle and bustle about, but they always have time to stop and chat with one another and with us. Once they were all talking about King Friday's anti-litter campaign. It lasted for several visits, and the King got an award for the tidiest neighborhood. Another time of big excitement was over the play "Benjamin Franklin and the Three Bears." Henrietta wanted it to be "Goldilocks, Benjamin Franklin, and the Three Bears." She wanted to play Goldilocks.
Occasionally, Mr. Anybody drops into the Neighborhood. He sings, "I Like You As You Are," or maybe one of his neighbors' other favorite songs: "Every Body's Fancy" or "Sometimes People Are Good."
In all too short a while it is time to leave the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and Misterogers' Neighborhood, too. As Misterogers changes his house sweater for the jacket and topcoat, he asks us with a son and a smile to come back tomorrow. "Till then I hope your day is snappy...happy."
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