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Grandfather's Homemade Neighborhood

From Neighborhood Archive reader, Dylan Self:

Unlike most kids' shows, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood wasn't known for having a lot of merchandise tied to the show. Among the many things on the show I liked were the Neighborhood of Make Believe models Mister Rogers used to transition into Make Believe. I had always wanted versions of those models for my own, and since my grandfather, Don Self (1920-2006), was a pro at woodworking and building things, he decided to make them himself.

The castle, the factory, the tree, the Eiffel Tower and the Clock were all completely made by him, the "Platypus Mound" is just a piece that came with a train set that I thought looked enough like it, and the Museum Go Round primarily consists of a bird toy I found in a pet store. My grandfather build the wall around it. To this day, I cherish these wooden models, and I only regret that I never had the chance to show a picture of them to Fred Rogers. I always wonder what he would have thought of them. But as the example he set on the show so many times: if you can't get certain things, make them yourself. I'm glad I have the opportunity to share these with other people who grew up with Fred Rogers' legacy as I did.


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