Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

outfit details – cardigan: Gap // shirt: Converse (Target) // tie: thrifted // jeans: Merona // watch: Timex x Disney // shoes: Converse // glasses: Derek Cardigan

As today would have marked Fred Rogers’ 85th birthday, I think it’s only right for me to do an outfit post dedicated to him as he was one of my childhood favorites and a total fashion inspiration to me. He’s completely responsible for my love of cardigans, I seriously wear one one almost EVERY. DAY. One of my life-long goals was to own just as many cardigans as he did, but I don’t know how many he owned to begin with, so maybe that’s just me wanting to find excuses to keep buying them. Like, I don’t own any awesome zip-up ones like he did anymore. Do they even make those still??? Anyway, I was always fascinated by how in each episode’s intro he’d come into his house while singing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” while switching from a snazzy blazer to a casual zip-up cardigan and sneakers. So grandpa chic!

Along with being a total style icon (to me and GQ anyway), he was an amazing human being. Here’s a list of fun facts that I found on Tumblr awhile ago about Mister Rogers:

  • He basically saved public television. In 1969 the government wanted to cut public television funds. Mister Rogers then went to Washington where he gave an amazing merely six minute speech. By the end of the speech not only did he charm the hostile Senators, he got them to double the budget they would have initially cut down. The whole thing can be found on youtube, a video called “Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate.”
  • “Certain fundamentalist preachers hated him because, apparently not getting the “kindest man who ever lived” memo, they would ask him to denounce homosexuals. Mr. Rogers’s response? He’d pat the target on the shoulder and say, “God loves you just as you are.” Rogers even belonged to a “More Light” congregation in Pittsburgh, a part of the Presbyterian Church dedicated to welcoming LGBT persons to full participation in the church.”
  • According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”
  • Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec’s house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host). On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver’s home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life—the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

Happy Birthday Mister Rogers!!!

Cheers,
Nina

PS: I came across a really lovely article Benjamin Wagner, the director of the documentary Mister Rogers & Me, wrote for Mental_Floss packed with even more facts about the late and absolutely wonderful Mister Rogers. You can read it here.

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