|THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers|
Around the Neighborhood - Volume 2, Number 5
In 1973, Family Communications initiated a print newsletter titled Around the Neighborhood. This newspaper-like publication was largely directed towards parents but included some material for children as well. The information below documents the fifth issue from Volume 2 of Around the Neighborhood.
All you really need for pretending is you. But putting on costumes can be fun in a different way. Costumes make people look different. Francois Clemmons dressed up as a king for the opera, Potato Bugs and Cows. X the Owl likes to make himself look like someone he admires -- his hero, Ben Franklin. Friends sometimes like to wear the same costumes so they can look alike. Betty Aberlin, Lady Elaine, and Harriet E. Cow dress the same when they sing together. No matter how different a costume can make you look on the outside, you'll always be the same you on the inside.
Henrietta Pussycat heard a loud noise outside. She peeked out to see. It was a scary witch! "Henrietta," called the witch. "Don't be afraid --" But Henrietta slammed her door. "Meow bad witch!" she cried.
Outside the tree, Lady Aberlin sadly took off her witch costume. "Henrietta really thought I was a witch," she said. "How can I help her not be afraid?"
A little while later, Henrietta heard a tap at her door.
"Meow bad witch again?"
"No, Hen. It's me," said Lady Aberlin. "There's no such thing as a real witch. It was my witch costume that scared you. And here's something for you."
There on Lady Aberlin's hand Henrietta saw a tiny witch puppet, just right for a pussycat's paw. "It's not a real witch either. It's make-believe, like my costume," said Lady Aberlin. Henrietta put the witch puppet on her paw. She made it wiggle. It didn't look scary at all. "Make-believe is something you can start and stop any time you want," said Lady Aberlin.
"Meow!" said Henrietta happily.
Chef Don Brockett and his actress friend Barbara Russell were going to be in a show that needed clowns. They had to put on makeup and costumes to look like clowns. Here's how Chef Brockett did that.
Chef Brockett knew what he wanted to look like. He had a picture of himself from another time he had dressed as a clown. Chef Brockett began by putting a special makeup called "clown white" on his face. "I look different already!"
Next he drew a big smiling mouth with red makeup. (A clown can make his mouth smile or look sad. It doesn't necessarily make him feel that way inside, through.) He put a red dot on each cheek. He drew blue lines down each eyelid with a soft crayon-like pencil that doesn't hurt skin. Last, he drew that red heart he liked.
The red wig came next. "This wig makes a big difference in how I look," Chef Brockett explained as he pulled it down to fit.
Then Chef Brockett put on a funny-shaped hat and a floppy polka-dot costume.
Here's a picture from the show, with Chef Brockett looking just the way he wanted to look. His friend Mrs. Russell looks just the way she wanted to look, too.
Chef Brockett used makeup when he wanted to dress up as a clown. But there are other ways to make yourself look different. One of the easiest ways is to make funny faces in front of a mirror. You can even make your voice sound different. When you play you can make your voice sound high or low, rough or sweet. Putting on the clothes or hats or belts of someone older can make you look different too.
Sometimes it's fun to put on a long towel or an old sheet or a very fancy costume someone gives you. Makeup can make your face look different too. Here are some of the many things you can use for pretending.
Be sure a grownup helps you pick out safe makeup and costumes to put on.
The two roles Joe Negri plays in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood harmonize in an especially meaningful way. As a handyman in Make-Believe, Joe can fix anything from a waterfall to a crack in the wall. And in the reality-oriented neighborhood, he plays a musician and the owner of Negri's Music Shop.
Joe's father was a bricklayer who liked to work around the house. His two sons enjoyed being with him and handing him tools. Joe himself did not inherit his father's skill at fixing things, but when Fred Rogers suggested the handyman role to him, Joe marveled at how comfortable it felt. "I have such strong images of that kind of person," Joe says. "And so much respect." His TV handiwork jobs look authentic partly because he enjoys playing the role his father lived so well.
What Joe's hands are incredibly good at is music. He was a musical prodigy at four, and at sixteen he played guitar in the big bands of Shep Fields and Woody Herman. Later he took a degree in music composition at Carnegie Mellon University. He has played and recorded with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and, on the lighter side, has spent ten years as musical director and talent host for WTAE-TV, a local television station.
As proprietor of the neighborhood's music shop, Joe plays the guitar. His shop's rehearsal room offers opportunities for Mr. ROgers to drop in and enjoy listening to many kinds of music. Musicians there practice everything from African drums to bluegrass fiddle in Negri's shop.
Perhaps because his two roles are so well-meshed and fit his own talents, Joe Negri feels that the neighborhood program has been for him "darn close to the most rewarding thing in my life." That makes another generation of Negris who share deep contentment in their work.
Lately it seems that the prices of things we need, from hamburgers to housecoats, have skyrocketed with the pace of inflation. In the last months, Around the Neighborhood's paper and printing costs have risen too. In order to continue bringing your family Mr. Rogers' stories, puppets, crafts, and songs, we must regretfully increase our subscription rate from $3.00 to $3.75. Around the Neighborhood will, however, remain as Fred Rogers wants it to be, as reasonably priced a family communication as we can make it.
It's that season once again. Doorbells ring and there on the step stand small trick-or-treaters in extraordinary garb, waiting for something special to drop into their bags. Candy and gum are not the only inexpensive treats. For Halloween, balloons, nuts, raisins, small notebooks, homemade bookmarks, pencils, popcorn in little bags can be good to give too.
Note: If you miss a program that you or your child is particularly interested in, check with your local station to see when it will be repeated. Give them the program number.
Week of September 30
Mister Rogers talks about natural fears, and what causes thunder and lightning Thursday (#424). Daniel Striped Tiger feels sorry that the Purple Panda has no birthday. On Friday, they both share a birthday party (#425) and Al Worden, astronaut, brings Mister Rogers a moon rock.
Week of October 7
On Tuesday (#427), Mister Rogers goes to visit the dentist. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (#427, 428, 429) John Reardon of the Metropolitan Opera Company comes to Make-Believe to work on the opera, "Potato Bugs and Cows." On Friday, this opera is performed (#430).
Week of October 14
Queen Sara is sick, as King Friday announces on Wednesday (#433). Daniel Striped Tiger is afraid she will never return, but Dr. Bill assures him she will soon be better. On Thursday, (#434) Mister Rogers shows a film of himself going to Esther Farnas, M.D., for an injection.
Week of October 21
Tuesday (#437) Mister Rogers visits Mr. and Mrs. McFeely, who are packing suitcases to go on a trip. The next day (#438) he visits Marianne Wion, a woman who makes wooden toys. Also on Wednesday, King Friday and Queen Sara have a disagreement. Lady Aberlin spends Thursday (#439) asking the neighbors of Make-Believe what love really is. She learns that people who love each other can still get angry sometimes.
Week of October 28
Tuesday and Wednesday (#442 and 443) Handyman Negri helps Lady Elaine and Henrietta understand themselves and their differences -- Henrietta likes to keep her pretty dresses clean, while Lady Elaine likes to work hard and doesn't care if she gets dirty. Friday (#445) Corny learns that many good things -- from work projects and vegetables to people -- need time to grow.
Around the Neighborhood and the materials that accompany it are published ten times a year by Family Communications, Inc., a not-for-profit Pennsylvania corporation. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is funded by grants from the Sears-Roebuck Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Around the Neighborhood is created in association with Media Projects Incorporated of New York. Subscriptions, printing, and distribution are accomplished by Multiscope, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
© 1974 Family Communications Inc.
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