won’t you be my neighbor

(2018) – 90 min doc – on mr. (fred) rogers


1 min – yet it worked.. because he was saying something really important.. f: ‘love is at the root of everything.. love or the lack of it..t and what we see/hear on the screen is part of who we become’

thurman interconnectedness law et al.. khan filling the gaps law et al..

4 min – f: (on tv – and people throwing pies in faces et al) i thought.. this (tv) is a wonderful thing.. why is it being used this way

7 min – f: i had every imaginable childhood disease.. i was in bed a lot.. i had to make up my own fun

9 min – people looking at early childhood ed.. they felt physicians needed a training ground.. so they had a sense of where human behavior was coming from from the very beginning.. including spock, erikson, rogers.. et al

not yet scrambled

11 min – f: it was as if.. you have now passed the test.. we can open the doors and you can come in.. (after his response to.. my dog’s ear came off in washer)

a neighborhood was a place where at times you felt worried, scared, unsafe.. would take care of you.. would provide understanding.. safety.. that’s what the neighborhood was for fred

12 min – f: tv has a chance of building a community out of the entire country

14 min – king friday was really irritated that people were changing.. so he built a wall.. down w the changes.. we don’t want anything to change.. because we’re on top.. that was the first week.. that’s how it got started.. (pushing peace)

17 min – anything could happen in the land of make believe.. fred never appeared in make believe

18 min – (song) – i like you as you are – f: and people need to hear that.. i don’t think anybody can grow unless he is accepted exactly how he is..t

brown belonging law et al

21 min – on his being inclusive.. not an oratorical sermon.. never said he was a minister.. it was a communication right into their hearts.. fred’s theology was love your neighbor and love yourself and he saw that communication as the most deeply spiritual thing that he could be doing

22 min – f: when i look at the camera.. i think of one person.. not any specific person.. but one person.. very very very personal.. the space between the tv screen and whoever happens to be receiving it.. i consider that very holy ground.. a lot happens there

rogers understand law

for someone who was grounded in tv.. he hated it

23 min – in this country.. a child is appreciated for what he will be.. he will be a great consumer one day.. the quicker we can get him to go out an buy.. the better..

25 min – fred at congress.. f: i feel that if we in public tv can make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable.. we’d do a great service.. (song) what do you do w the mad that you feel.. i can stop when i want to.. there’s something deep inside that helps us become what we can.. ‘looks like you just won the 20 million dollars’

28 min – everything just exploded..

29 min – (fred) is doing the one thing he wishes to do.. and he is by defn a happy man

30 min – (his wife): he and i both had childhoods that you weren’t able to show your anger.. and we were never able to do it.. it’d scare us

f: music was my first language.. i was scared to use words.. i didn’t want to be a bad boy.. i didn’t want to tell people i was angry.. but i could show it thru the way i could play on the piano.. thru the ends of my fingers..

lewis anger law et al

31 min – (wife): i think daniel was the real fred ‘i can’t go to school tomorrow.. because i don’t know everything’..

supposed to’s of school/work et al

32 min – he never forgot how vulnerable it was to be a kid.. you have to learn everything that helps you get thru life.. whatever those scars of his life were.. he wanted to help heal that wound

black science of people/whales law et al

f: easier to talk thru puppet..

33 min – all you had to see was fred inhabit daniel..

34 min – special episode 1968.. first yr of mr rogers.. blow up balloon and let air out.. daniel asks ‘what does assassination mean? (jkr).. it means somebody getting killed in a sort of surprised way..

36 min – f: i felt i had to speak to the families of our country about grief.. children have very deep feelings.. our striving to understand those feelings and to better respond to them.. is what i feel is a most important task in our world..

37 min – he understood that if you really wanted to communicate.. the most important thing is to just listen.. t

need: means to undo our hierarchical listening

children’s tv was speeding up (crazy cartoons et al).. fred was radical .. in that he used time totally differently.. to fred.. silence was his delight.. there’s a lot of slow space.. there’s no wasted space.. t

millman never nothing law.. rumi words law.. et al

f: i think silence is one of the greatest gifts that we have

39 min – his questions are short.. simple.. and then he waits.. and sometimes after they answer.. he doesn’t say anything else.. so they say a little bit more.. it’s a perfect interviewing trick

rogers understand law et al

yo yo ma – fred interviewed me.. he put his face about 3 inches from mine and said.. ‘it’s so nice to see you and be with you’.. it scared the living daylights out of me.. but i realized this is what children do with adults

not yet scrambled ness

41 min – 1969 episode – no blacks in pools.. officer clemmens in foot pool sharing a towel

43 min – the level of will this guy brought to all phases of his life.. no better manifestation of that than 143 – i one letter.. love 4.. and you 3..

fred would go swim 1 mile and unhurried pace.. weighed 143 every day of life since late 50s..

yo you ma: that 143 lb thing drives me insane..

so when needle jumps to 143.. there’s this confirming

we could be ourselves around fred

47 min – episode in 1976.. at that time he thought he had done enough that taped episode visits could be repeated

48 min – he wanted to do some prime time stuff for adults.. f: wonder what makes people feel helplessness.. (visiting prison)

49 min – he was incredibly open.. put puppets away and spoke to adults.. nobody but fred would have thought of doing that for adults.. but he wasn’t making the kind of connections w adults on tv he thought he might be able to make

50 min – on kids jumping from roofs w capes and dying.. fred became so angry that people and his medium (tv) that would mislead a child

51 min – f: i am tired of hearing people who have long ago set aside concerns of childhood.. telling people what they need.. i’ll tell what them they need.. adults that will protect them.. then did episode talking about pretend heroes.. he came back with the show..

any form of people telling other people what to do.. any form of m\a\p

53 min – fred would say.. outside world of children’s lives had changed.. but not inside.. ie: did week on death, then on divorce, on children getting lost..

gabor on childhood trauma et al

54 min – he typed in paper about how he couldn’t do it.. that he didn’t think he was up to the task (of writing scripts again).. f: why don’t i trust myself.. it’s just as bad as ever

he got to it.. but it wasn’t easy

55 min – he might as well have been an animated figure brought into real life.. doing all things kids were doing.. moon walk et al

56 min – every time we went thru a tragedy.. i called fred and put him on the radio.. 25th space shuttle crash et al.. how do we put it to children so they will understand.. and part of fred’s answer was always to tell children that we would take care of them.. sometimes i felt i was lying..

57 min – f: sometimes we need to struggle w the tragedy to feel the gravity of love..

58 min – (on people parodying him).. eddie murphy.. f: i remember meeting him.. he just thru his arms around me.. and said.. this is the real mr rogers..

59 min – if they made fun of the philosophy.. that was the only thing that offended fred

unoffendable ness

60 min – just before adolescence he didn’t have an easy time making friends.. got a good taste of what bullying is about.. called fat freddy.. i often wonder if there wasn’t a fat freddy we would have a mr rogers..

f: laughter record.. i used to listen .. adults always wanting me to grow up.. i was always afraid i’d be laughed at.. i’d listen to the record where i could start and stop the laughing when i wanted.. for someone who hated to be laughed at it was a good feeling to be in charge of at least this laughter

61 min – f: i think those who would try to make you feel less than who you are.. i think that’s the greatest evil

f: the most important it’s the ability to expect/accept mistakes and deal with what the cause

62 min – daniel: ‘i was wondering if i was a mistake.. a fake.. not like anyone else.. ‘.. i can’t believe fred had the courage to put that into words.. lady evelyn is saying to daniel what fred wanted to say to himself and all other children.. fred doesn’t just turn happy.. they end up singing a duet.. combining the doubt and the love..

66 min – on officer clemmens being gay .. and fred telling hime he couldn’t stay on show.. later came around

67 min – people questioning if fred was gay.. they couldn’t compare him w anybody else.. (thru all that) i saw another way of being a man.. ie: he wore the pink sweater to cover the tatoos.. people trying to say.. they can’t be.. he has to be this way.. the universal question about fred was.. was he that way in real life.. and the answer was yes

69 min – f: i love you just the way you are.. officer clemmens said.. fred.. where you talking to me.. fred said yes.. i’ve been talking to you for 2 yrs.. no man had never told me he loved me like that.. from then on he became my surrogate father..

70 min – f: the people who have had a lot of struggle in their lives.. those are the people who really impress me..

71 min – on jeff being on show.. had tumor at 7 months.. broke nerves that told hands/feet what to do.. fred singing to him.. jeff joins in .. ‘it’s you i like..’

jeff’s mom: he had his surgery .. he survived.. fred obviously had an influence on him

74 min – f: i would hope anybody who sets out to do mass programming for children would have the kind of respect for children that i have.. because it’s not all clowns and balloons..

f: when you see scary tv.. you can turn it off.. we need to help our children become more and more aware that what is essential in life is invisible to the eye..

the little prince – see with your heart.. missing pieces et al

75 min – wife: he started out as daniel.. quiet and shy.. and developed into king friday.. that gruffness was his way of getting what he wanted across.. he wanted something very badly.. and do whatever was necessary to get it..

76 min – f: the real job we have.. down to earth actual goodness.. people caring for each other in a myriad of ways.. rather than knocking people off all the time.. i don’t find that funny at all.. the only thing that really changes the world.. is when somebody gets the idea that love can abound and can be shared..

son: only time he came close to saying he’d done something good.. was after his interview w dodo the guerrilla.. it was a weird kind of a thing.. but there was something magical going on there.. ko ko says i love you and hugs him.. f: there’s so much to think about isn’t there

78 min – criticism.. telling everyone they’re special.. narcisits.. no one has to work .. then when find they do.. they think their not special.. but not about entitlement.. and if you don’t believe everyone has value..

none of us are free

79 min – fred’s last commencement speech he said f: what that (that you’re special) means is that you don’t ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you

pearson unconditional law

81 min – last episode..

now there isn’t room for a nice person on tv

82 min – wife: when he did stop making the programs.. i felt he was depressed.. he said ‘well .. i miss my playmates’

we decided to head back to do some promos about 911.. f: i just don’t know what good this is going to do..

when the horror of 911 really hit him.. i think it was a real eye opener.. just so bit.. always going to be an going struggle to overcome evil.. i remember thinking.. this is the time you need to pump him up.. because this is really important.. people listen to you

f: no matter what our particular job.. esp in our world today.. we all are called to be repairers of creation.. thank you for whatever you do.. wherever you are to bring joy, light, hope, faith, pardon, love.. to your neighbor and to yourself

84 min – fred didn’t like going to the dr’s office.. he had stomach problems for several yrs..

yo yo ma: he told me he was sick.. i played for him over the phone.. like sending a message

86 min – when he was young.. he talked about dying well.. with the hopes in tact.. before he became comatose he said.. do you think i’m a sheep.. (judgment).. i think the need was always there fore being capable of being loved.. i said.. fred.. if ever there was a sheep.. you’re one..

87 min – f: i suppose it’s an invitation (would you be my neighbor).. for somebody to be close to you.. i think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he/she is loveable.. the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving..

died 2003.. across funeral.. people striking saying they weren’t tolerant of tolerants.. like fred.. they children there looked so exhausted.. i knew if fred was there.. that’s where his heart would have gone

89 min – i wonder if today he would forget about trying.. or try to mend the split.. to find something positive..

90 min – f: when i was a boy and i would think about something scary.. my mother would tell us.. always look for the people who are helping.. you’ll always find somebody who is trying to help..

i think there are a lot of people out there like fred.. a lot more than we want to believe..

in response to the question.. what would fred do.. it’s not a question you can answer.. most important question.. is what will you do

f: you have had people who have smiled you into smiling.. talked you into talking.. sung you into singing.. loved you into loving.. let’s take time to think of those extra special people.. no matter where they are.. deep down you know they’ve always wanted what was best for you.. cared about you beyond measure.. and encouraged you to be true to the best w/in you..

93 min – he meets up with jeff