Remembering Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross

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Two unforgettable people of my childhood. Just some of my thoughts

Submitted: June 18, 2016

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Submitted: June 18, 2016

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ALERT: Nostalgia….

Do you remember this man?

 

Mr. Rogers is best known for his kid’s show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He was such a gentle, kind soul; a humble and inspiring man full of wisdom and advice. He was great with children- not only that, he really cared for them as individuals.  Mr. Rogers aspired to change T.V. and create something unique; something kids could relate to and actually learn from- Something REAL; Mr. Rogers wasn’t playing a character, he chose to be himself on camera. His reasoning: “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.”  I completely agree with him.

 For the show, he created two beautiful and somewhat peculiar neighborhoods: one represented reality, the other represented a city of make believe. There was a miniature trolley that would “transport” the viewers to the neighborhood of make believe. In the land of make believe there were various hand puppets which were all named after his family and friends; he created and controlled all of them and wrote all the scripts and songs featured on the show.  He really believed in the show and the positive impact it could have on childrens development.

Mr. Rogers would talk about various subjects and concepts, exploring conflicts most kids shows ignored like war, divorce, and how to cope with death.  He taught in different ways; sometimes he just shared his thoughts by talking directly to the camera as if each viewer was a close friend or family member. He’d also take the viewers on tours inside factories and create demonstrations by painting, building with blocks , or simply transporting us to the land of make believe.

Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to everyone not only on the show but in real life; he hated the idea of kids being left out because of being different or because of disabilities, he encouraged kids to be accepting, helpful, and generous to others. Using the show, he created a magical world that depicted a fairer reality with morals, kindness, equality, and peace. He taught kids various lessons about life ; how things worked, how to treat others, and how to stay true to yourself. In his own words the shows purpose was to: “promote good self esteem, self control, imagination, creativity, curiosity, appreciation of diversity, cooperation, patience, and persistence.”

Over time people fell in love with the show because it was different and it helped kids understand the world around them. Each episode was heartfelt and honest- it wasn’t just a show for entertainment or to keep kids preoccupied; it spoke to kids on so many different levels. When I was younger I really did view him as a friend and respected him because he kept things real and I could tell that he cared about each and every one of us. He taught me that the world can be a great place depending on how we choose to view it (& depending on the choices we make, the people we surround ourselves with and how we interact with the world around us).  I remember watching the show and getting excited by the opening scene; I was so intrigued by Rogers and the uniqueness of the show. He invited me into his home and sang me songs reminding me that it was always a beautiful day in the neighborhood and would ask me if I would be his neighbor and I remember nodding and I wished he was my actual neighbor; as I got older I learned a neighbor isn’t just someone that lives next door- anyone can be your neighbor as well as your friend. When each episode came to an end I got this sad feeling inside especially when he’d say goodbye. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was such an awesome T.V. show; I can hardly describe it in words.  Though I’m older now and realize the show was for little kids, I often find myself going back and watching old episodes because it had such an impact on me; the show is timeless.

A few months before Mr. Rogers died he created a video thanking the people who grew up watching the show; the video became even more emotional since he died shortly after.  In the video he stated these famous last words, “I’m just so proud of all of you who have grown up with us, and I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead but I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger; I like you just the way you are. And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods. It’s such a good feeling to know that we’re lifelong friends.” 

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And now "lets paint some happy little clouds" with.BOB ROSS-

(that afro though, ha)

 If you don’t remember this guy, you’ve really missed out.

It’s a possibility Bob Ross lived in Mr. Rogers neighborhood… In all seriousness though, these two guys had similar personalities. I really do wonder sometimes if Mr. Rogers was Bob’s lost brother; like kindred spirits or something.

Bob was an awesome painter, watching him paint was so mesmerizing; he had such a soothing voice. He was a great teacher and was calm and positive.

I remember Ross because he was also inspiring and creative, His program/show, “The Joy Of Painting,”  was  so beautiful; Ross taught various techniques of painting and would always complete his painting within the 30 minutes of the show.  He always encouraged viewers to try it out themselves and believed that anyone could be a painter; Bob would say:“I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.” Though, I never painted along with him, I still liked watching because of the commentary. He often compared painting to life…like Rogers, in each of his episodes he’d talk to the viewers as if they were a friend. Ross would talk about life, share his opinions, and encourage people to be positive and creative. The things he said really made you think about the world around you. I learned about the aspects of life and how perception has a lot to do with how we live,and that my negative outlooks on life could be turned into positive ones by looking at things in a different light, or simply going with the flow, 

 

 

 

Anyways, I've just been pondering over what makes someone a good person, What makes people likeable and different, what makes them stand out, you know... What makes them unforgettable:

Their personality?How they treat others?The things they’ve said and done?

The list could go on and on...but some people just seem to have a significant, emotional impact on our psyches.  Sometimes, it’s a mystery why some people stick with us- sometimes we remember people for no apparent reason.

There are so many good people out there, I feel these two men are just a couple representations of the good; in a way they represent the 'good' that inside all of us- the part of us that aspires to be a great person, even though  were not perfect... I think thats why they are rememberable; you feel a connection because you can relate to them  and appreciate them.

Now that I think of it, all of us have unforgettable attributes- we all affect the world around us even if it's in the smallest of ways

 

 

 

RANDOM GALLERY:

 

 

(land of make believe)

(painting by Bob Ross)


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