PBS is in effect cancelling Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. instead of airing the shows throughout the week (as they are made to be shown), one episode will be aired on Saturday mornings. it’s not nothing, but it shows that PBS is concerned more with numbers–of viewers, of dollars–than with people.
i didn’t grow up watching Mister Rogers. my love for his work is not nostalgic. i only started watching as an adult. an adult caring for a child. his simple, lovely songs really changed the way that i cared for Garrett and Gracie…”once i was very little too, now i take care of you” and “what do you do with the mad that you feel?” i got to tell Mister Rogers how much the half hour that we spent with him meant. i got to send drawings by Garrett and Gracie. i got to send him a zine. and he accepted our story and gifts with such gratitude and humility.
we took his songs with us to the jungle and translated and taught Saramakan children to sing “Tree Tree Tree.” and now we are sharing the neighborhood with Mabel. when she wants her coat zipped, she asks, “beautiful day?” she’s interested in trains and aquariums and those come straight from the neighborhood.
i’ve had such an awful feeling in my stomach all day.
what to do?
** send PBS a postcard…and tell your friends to do the same
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
ATTN: Linda Simensky
Senior Director, Children’s Programming
** call your local station…OPB at 503.244.9900
** get info and share your stories at Save Mister Roger’s Neighborhood