The Nantucket Inquirer-Mirror published its piece today (“Mr. Rogers Says Goodbye Forever to the Neighborhood”). It’s very sweet, and illuminates yet another facet of Mr. Rogers that I didn’t know: Fred Rogers, Environmentalist.
Anyway, I did the interview from the back seat of a rental car in South Carolina just an hour after landing. Not that that should have much bearing, really, except that it was out of body enough to be on vacation, out of work, and in South Carolina, let alone to be speaking on the record about someone who just over 24 hours earlier I’d expected to see again… soon.
Anyway, I don’t love what I said, it doesn’t sound reverential enough, sufficiently awed. Because I was awed and reverential in his presence. I wouldn’t have characterized myself as “curious” to meet him. I sought him out. I wanted a mentor, a (grand)father figure. I admit it. And I don’t recall saying anything about being a triathlete, but I must have. The truth is, I ‘ve tried to swim that bay, but it creeps me out; I get scared just a few hundred feet from shore. I can do the distance, I just can’t seem to find the courage to do it alone. Mister Rogers did, though, every day at 2 p.m.
Nonetheless, it’s an honor to be even remotely associated with such greatness, and I just hope my gratitude translates.