It’s probably not going to be the most sensational movie ever made but  “they” (somebody in Hollywood) are going to make a movie about everybody ‘s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers, and “they” have wisely picked the one actor who has the ability to portray such a squeaky clean TV icon as Fred Rogers —- and that’s Tom Hanks.

The Washington Post reported this week that Hanks is “one of the few contemporary celebrities who approaches Mr. Roger’s universally beloved status.”  And with all the sexual abuse backlash in Hollywood these days, he may be one of the few stars left who hasn’t been smeared by the hoopla. (But if I find out Forrest Gump as been guilty of Hanky-Panky I’ll quit going to the movies altogether).

It’s seems there were a lot of rumors about dear, old Fred Rogers, some of them true —- some of them not.  For instance, someone started the falsehood that he always wore those cardigan sweaters to hide his many tattoos.  I can just imagine a grass-skirted hula girl wiggling every time he flexed his bicep.  But the one about him being an ordained Presbyterian minister is true; he graduated from the Pittsburg Theological Seminary in 1963 just after the Cuban Missile Crisis and right about the same time the Beatles invaded America.

          Roger’s philosophy can best be summed up by his quote in a 2003 documentary called “Everybody’s Favorite Neighbor”: “I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he/she is lovable.  And consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.”

When I shared that statement with Ronnie I said, “Now there’s some words of wisdom for the ages.  And I bet you won’t find any of those tabloid papers in the check-out aisle reporting on Fred Rogers being involved in any of the current Hollywood shenanigans!”

To which he replied, “I don’t know, but it seems to me he’s spent an awful lot of time over in the Land of Make-Believe with Henrietta Pussycat!”

Leave it to my husband to suggest something scandalous about the most scandal-less man in show business.

Although I was more of a Captain Kangaroo/Mr. Green Jeans type of girl, I was intrigued with the science experiments Mr. Rogers presented with “neighborhood” kids.  I suppose I just wasn’t that cerebral back then.

Have a great week and don’t forget to Smile Awhile!

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