” … in the neighborhood …”

Real talk: I’m a Muppets girl.

But I saw a post on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s blog this morning that got me very excited for the youngsters in our nation whose parents force-feed them PBS programming.

“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” has been reincarnated, and it has been renewed. For a second season.

Daniel Tiger is carrying on the legacy of trolley-riding, sweater-wearing and loving thy neighbor.

You might remember Daniel Tiger’s father, Daniel Striped Tiger, as this furry creature, who lived in a grandfather clock and had to learn how to come of his proverbial shell. But Daniel Striped Tiger also had some common sense – he wore a watch, because “when you live in a clock you really should know what time it is.”

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Daniel Striped Tiger is now married and has children, and I imagine he is a gym teacher at Allderdice High School and his wife is a nurse at UPMC, and their family lives in a sweet bungalow in Squirrel Hill, just a few blocks from Chatham College and a few steps from a PAT bus stop, also a quick walk to Eat N Park on Murray Avenue.

His son, Daniel Tiger, is carrying on the legacy that Fred Rogers left his dad. 

***

Even though I am a professed Muppets girl,  I had one brush with Mr. Rogers himself when I went to college in Pittsburgh. As an intern at Pittsburgh Magazine, I worked in a large office space in the same building as the studio for “Mister Rogers’  Neighborhood” – a Pittsburgh institution. Each day my fellow interns and I walked to the tiny lunchroom, only a few yards away from Mr. Rogers’ studio. Some days we got daring and walked into Mr. Rogers’ kitchen with the industrial-grade stoplight, or we admired the tree that was the home of X the Owl.

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But we never saw Mr. Rogers.

One afternoon I left work and walked towards the University of Pittsburgh to catch my shuttle. As I went to cross the entrance of a parking lot, I noticed a Ford sedan pull up and I stopped before crossing the street.

I learned that on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Who was driving the car that stopped? Mister Rogers.

I made eye contact with him and he tilted his head, then smiled and waved as if to say, “Hello neighbor!”

I waved back before Mister Rogers left. It was the coolest moment of my junior year of college.

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Daniel Tiger. Trolley. Sweater. Sneakers.
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