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Lasting Connection

PUBLICATION: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
AUTHOR: Sally Kalson
DATE: February 28, 2003

Children felt Mister Rogers was talking just to them

Story by Sally Kalson

All over the country yesterday, grown children were getting calls from their parents with the sad news that Fred Rogers had died. Together they commiserated over the loss of the great good friend they used to watch together in a neighborhood that knew no boundaries and drew no distinctions.

That pretty much summed up the legacy of the television pioneer, writer, composer, performer, puppeteer and minister who came into millions of homes every day, assuring children that he liked them just the way they were.

For all the knowledge, talent and work that went into "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," it all came down to that one transaction: Adults and children, talking about what mattered to them, listening to the feelings behind the words.

He made it look so easy, but no one else before or since has spoken with such direct simplicity to the hopes and fears of children...

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