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Entertainment & Arts

Readers share emotional feelings for Mister Rogers and his widow

Joanne Rogers
Joanne Rogers is continuing the work of her husband, the late Fred Rogers.
(Jeff Swensen / For The Times)

Mrs. Rogers’ neighborhood, too

I just read your article about writer Amy Kaufman’s friendship with Mrs. Rogers [“A Welcome to the ‘Neighborhood’ From Mrs. Rogers,” Nov. 26]. I loved it, I think because you treated your relationship with her with such care and respect and I found such humility in your words.

You lifted my spirits tonight and I am grateful.

Mary Beth Minnis
Austin, Texas

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Got teary-eyed a few time reading this. Thanks and will have to remember to bring tissues when I see the movie.

Phil Schneider
Los Angeles

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What a wonderful story, one that is seldom told. Joanne Rogers seems like a mirror image of Fred, in many ways.

Bill Teeple
San Jose

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I don’t frequently write to journalists whose work I enjoy. I think I’ve maybe done it once before. The piece Amy Kaufman wrote about Joanne Rogers is absolute perfection.

Ian Fried
Long Island, N.Y.

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Very nice article. Beautifully written and a nice addition to having just viewed the movie a few days ago. I became a big fan of Fred Rogers years ago when my son was small and we would watch the show together. He’s 37 now. I’m an artist from Pennsylvania and have done several paintings of the Crooked House on Nantucket having a dear friend who has a home just a couple of houses down the sandy lane from the Rogers’ [summer] home.

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Steve Wetzel
Harrisburg, Pa.

Mister Rogers’ superpower

Regarding Mary McNamara’s column “Real Magic of Mister Rogers” [Nov. 30]: The real magic was pacing. Fred Rogers was completely comfortable being still. He was completely comfortable with silence, giving people time to process thoughts and ideas.

[When] people talk over each other, interrupt each other ... the pace becomes frenetic and pointless. Fred Rogers never interrupted anyone, nor did anyone interrupt him.

That’s why Mary McNamara and millions of others sat mesmerized. When someone spoke, everyone listened.

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Memory and respect was the real magic of Fred Rogers. Children recognized his empathy, and they knew they were safe with him.

Catherine C. Cate
Irvine

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As a high schooler when “Mister Rogers” first aired, I never saw an episode all the way through, only snippets, and essentially paid no attention to the program over the following decades.

It wasn’t until the documentary came out last year that I got Mister Rogers and finally understood what he was doing. I’ve since immersed myself and have learned a lot about the man.

The 895 episodes of “Mister Rogers” have done more good for humanity than any of the world’s 4,000 religions. I will go further and say that organized religion has done more harm than good, yet no one can claim Mister Rogers has done anything that caused harm, quite the opposite.

It is arguable that all religions could be replaced with the philosophy of Fred Rogers and the world would be better for it.

Paul Scott
Santa Monica

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McNamara wrote a tender appreciation for Fred Rogers and his program. I’m very glad that she had that experience as a child and that her life was made richer by the way Rogers spoke to her about important things a child cares deeply about. I guess I was simply too old by the time he came on TV to entrance the very young and the somewhat older kids.

As McNamara mentions, the older ones found plenty to ridicule. I just saw Rogers as lame, cheesy, mannered, fake, somewhat pretentious in talking down to children. Or so it seemed to me at the time. I grew up feeding on cartoons and more crazy entertainment like “Daffy Duck” and “Rocky and Bullwinkle” and others that seemed to have a subtext of winking irony, subversion, even chaos, all with the clever wit of sardonic adults that I was able to grasp.

But, looking back, I wish I had the perspective of seeing “Mister Rogers’ Neighborbood” when I was really young, when his kindness and generous view of the world might have touched me in a genuine way. I feel some regret at missing out on that during years when it could have been a welcome emotional salve.

TR Jahns
Hemet

The streaming divide

Regarding: “Give Thanks to the Streaming Era” by Noel Murray [Nov. 28]: I’d love to give thanks for the streaming era if I could stream. Living two miles outside the Santa Clarita city limits, I rely on a satellite for internet and my provider has a cap of 100 GB per month, half of it during night hours, when I sleep, which makes streaming an impossibility. I went back to getting Netflix in the mail.

Until the entire nation, including rural and unserved areas, have access to high-speed internet, millions of Americans will remain unable to enjoy the many features listed in the article, as well as much other online content that we can read about, but only wish for.

America needs a national internet program like Roosevelt’s rural electrification project.

Judy Reinsma
Santa Clarita

Too sexy for this paper?

I enjoy Mikael Wood’s articles, but I can’t understand why a photo of Camila Cabello is on the front page of the Calendar section [“Hot, Heavy ‘Romance,’” Dec. 1] with the top of her dress undone showing her bra. And what’s equally infuriating is that insightful articles about Martin Scorsese and Daniel Kaluuya are relegated to inside pages.

As an L.A. Times subscriber, it’s been a challenging transition during the four years we’ve lived here to adjust to photos like this one after living in the Washington, D.C., area and reading the Washington Post for many years.

I find it difficult to believe that your readers are more interested in an article on the hot and heavy Camila than the other informative articles like the one about Karen Gist (“Running The Show,” Dec. 1). I find photos with articles like this one so disappointing and a total turnoff.

Barbara Feuer
Santa Monica

Don’t look back with snark

Regarding “Thoughtful, Fun Blasts From the Past” [Dec. 4]: There is hope. All is not lost. TV critic Robert Lloyd, based in Los Angeles, writes poignantly about the 10-minute series “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” circa 1955.

No snark. No condescension. No mention of frozen chairmen.

Even now, at 75 years old, just the thought of “Skyrocket” makes my heart skip a beat.

Tonight, I ran through a few episodes and was shocked that the sweetness has not aged. Of course, the older boys are children, not the studly “Spin and Marty” of my childhood “Skyrocket.” However, it is as beautiful and wonderful and perfect as I remember.

Another favorite was the “Adventure in Dairyland” segments, a different world from my own. Another lasting impression. Also, Corky and White Shadow, never forgotten.

Thank you for writing without prejudice, and for seeing the lasting quality that was “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

Television reviews, news, commentary and articles in the L.A. Times are major reasons I subscribe.

Sarah Drake
Dallas

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I’m waiting for “The New Mickey Mouse Club” to be shown. My brother Steven was the musical director for the new talent section. I recall it being shown on Fridays, taped at the Carnation Pavilion at Disneyland. My brother could be seen playing piano and conducting the band on these segments.

I want my son to see his uncle back in the days before he developed MS and could no longer work as a musician.

Also my wife and I want to see “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.”

Seth Olitzky
Santa Barbara


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