Wow, Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) is airing his last new show tomorrow on PBS. He's been entertaining and educating kids with his own show since the mid '60s, and has the longest-running show on PBS, but tomorrow, he puts on his sweater one last time. PBS will still air older episodes, but Rogers is moving on to write books about good play habits for kids. I haven't watched nearly as many episodes of Mr Rogers as I have Sesame Street over my lifetime, but I found that having the gentle Mr Rogers interact with Trolley and the other Make-Believe (and real) friends in his neighborhood made it a lot easier as a young kid to cope with the adult world. Fred Rogers' theme behind his show was to let every little kid know that they are special without making the idea complicated. His show isn't flashy and he's not an exciting celebrity-type, but he's sincere and his show is a simple, positive influence on young kids.
Fred Rogers is 82, he's a minister, a vegetarian, has been married to the same woman for 50 years, has several kids, and all his sweaters on the show were made by his mother. But to many folks, he's simply a nice guy who changes his shoes and coat, and spends some time being a good neighbor. I know I'll miss him on his show, even if I haven't watched it in a while.