Here are some interesting facts about him, though:
- 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.
In time, the hurt began to fade and it was easier to just let it go. At least I thought it was. But in every boy I met in the next few years, I found myself looking for you, and when the feelings got too strong, I’d write you another letter. But I never sent them for fear of what I might find. By then, you’d gone on with your life and I didn’t want to think about you loving someone else. I wanted to remember us like we were that summer. I didn’t ever want to lose that.
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: ADVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
“I am sometimes asked if I have any words of advice for young people. Well,here are a few simple admonitions for young and old, man and beast.
Never interfere in a boy and girl fight.
Beware of whores who say they don’t want money. The hell they don’t. What they mean is that they want *more* money; much more, these are the most expensive whores what can be got.
If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing; his word isn’t worth shit, not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.
If, after having been exposed to someone’s presence, you feel as if you’ve lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence. You need it like you need pernicious anemia.
We don’t like to hear the word “vampire” around here; we’re trying to improve our public image. Building a kindly, avuncular, benevolent image; “interdependence” is the keyword — “enlightened interdependence”.
Life in all its rich variety, take a little, leave a little. However, by the inexorable logistics of the vampiric process they always take more than they leave — and why, indeed, should they take any?
Avoid fuck-ups. Fools, I call them. You all know the type — no matter how good it sounds, everything they have anything to do with turns into a disaster. Trouble for themselves and everyone connected with them. A fool is bad news, and it rubs off — don’t let it rub off on you.
Do not proffer sympathy to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit. Tell them firmly, “I am not paid to listen to this drivel — you are a terminal fool!” Otherwise, they make you as crazy as they are.
Above all, avoid confirmed criminals. They are a special malignant strain of fool.”