In the fall of 1983 my parents had a 40th wedding anniversary for my grandparents. My grandfather played the piano on Mr Rogers Neighborhood for many years, so the Rogers were invited.

At the time I was three and my sister was four. At that age Mr Rogers was a special figure to us, as I suppose he is for everyone at that age.

We were enthralled when we saw him there in our house. Our house! I forget now the justification that we came up with, but my sister and I were able to get Mr. and Mrs. Rogers to come with us to my room. Once we had them there we blocked the door (albeit with our bodies, but come on, remember what age we were).

They didn't force their way out. They didn't try to talk us into moving aside. I think that's a testament to what a nice guy he is off TV.

Being humane captors, my sister and I decided to get them some hors d'oeuvres from downstairs -- but sadly that was our downfall. Each time we went down, we had to smile at my mother. She then noticed that the Rogers were missing. Needless to say, she sprung them loose.

Update: March 5, 2003

Fred Rogers died last week. As such I thought adding some personal thoughts to this node would be worthwhile. First of all, there are many people who could and have done better eulogies than I could ever do, as I have only met him a handful of times. However, I must say that when my Grandfather died, he visited my grandmother and mother and offered them what comfort he could provide. For that I will always be indebted. The second is a link to an interview he did shortly before his death. He was asked a specific question about why corruption occurs, but in his answer I think he showed how very special he was, and how he tried to make others feel that way as well.

The interview (in RealAudio format):

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