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Sunday, August 12, 2018

For My Son . . .


My son Scott did not want to move from West Allis, Wisconsin, (a Milwaukee ‘burb)
to Baraboo, Wisconsin back in 1969 . . . He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to
“be with Mr Rogers.” We assured him we would make sure Mr Rogers would be in Baraboo too.
One of the first things we did was to make sure the television was up and running . . .
and with the Public Television channel too.

Each morning Scott was in his tv spot, his sister Suzie was there too,
although a bit younger and I am not sure Mr Rogers was making the same impact on her.
I doubt Scott missed any of the Mr Rogers programs . . .

Scott’s has a keen sense humor, a tender soul, loves and adores his wife and family . . .

Mister Irish and I went to see the documentary yesterday . . . I was taken back to those
late years of the sixities and with warmth, joy, tears . . . realized I too had watched Mr Rogers.
And I too . . . was profoundly touched by his love, care, enpathy . . .
and . . . his sense of inclusion, civility . . . respect.

I read this Mike Scott review . . . and thought his words said it best.
I send it off to you . . . It is a bit long . . .
it will take you a minute or two to read it . . . so worth it, I promise.

If you have a chance to catch this documentary . . . please do . . .
Our tickets were five dollars each . . .
It has been many a year since I have seen a movie for five dollars.

A bit of FYI for you . . .

Scott Alan Gordon
My son’s first name was a family name . . . Scott . . . his grandmothers maiden name . . .
We birthed Scott in the early astronaut days . . .
Scott Carpenter
Alan Shepherd
Gordon Cooper
three of the Mercury 7 . . .

I think we could do an entire post on the history of our names . . .

thank you . . . each of you . . . for being my neighbor . . .
love
lynne

*****

By Mike Scott
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Question No. 1 for pretty much anyone who goes to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor?," director Morgan Neville's documentary on Fred Rogers, almost assuredly will be the same: Was he really like that?

Was the real-life Mister Rogers, perhaps the most unlikely superstar in TV history, anything at all like the on-screen Mister Rogers, who -- in his so-kind-as-to-be-a-little-weird way -- provided a soft, non-threatening place for children to explore their emotions, address their fears and learn about life for more than 30 years?

The answer -- arrived at early on, through archival interviews with Fred Rogers himself, as well as new interviews with his widow, his children, his fellow cast members and his TV crew of
mischief-making ex-hippies -- is, without question, yes.
He was uncommonly kind, uncommonly gentle and uncommonly plugged into the psyche of children.

The second question raised by Neville's surprisingly moving film is a little deeper. It isn't asked directly, but it's hovering there throughout, and it's even more important than the first. It is this: What kind of a world do we live in that someone who exhibits a genuine interest in what children are feeling, who shows an honest interest in our most vulnerable citizens, is branded a weirdo -- and, in many cases, reduced to a punchline?

Turns out, it's precisely what we laughed at that made him such a singular, important figure in 20th century America. He felt old-fashioned, behind the times. But in reality he was far ahead of his time.

Fred Rogers dared to make a case that all children are precious and that there might be more productive ways to entertain and educate them than with popguns and pies in the face. More importantly, he decided to do something about it.

So, he left seminary school (among one of the many things we learn in Neville's film: Rogers was a Presbyterian minister, although he didn't advertise the fact so his show could speak to children of all creeds) and crafted a program he thought might get the job done. There were puppets. There was make-believe.

And there was discussion, gentle but honest, of emotions. He included the good emotions, but, vitally, he didn't' shy from the scarier ones, like anger or of the fears associated with such real-life horrors as the Vietnam War and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

He didn't know a thing about TV, mind you. But that didn't matter. He sure knew children.

He also had a keen memory of his own childhood and all the attendant fears that kept him up at night. Remember that Daniel the Striped Tiger puppet? The timid, easily frightened one? That was Mister Rogers.

To be clear: All the puppets on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" were created by and voiced by Rogers (who also wrote every word of each of his 912 episodes). But, as Neville teaches us, Daniel really was Rogers' voice -- his heart and his soul.

But even if Fred Rogers was a softie, that didn't mean he was a pushover. Easily the most memorable scene in "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" involves his 1969 testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee determined to cut funding for public television by $20 million.

"All right, Rogers, you've got the floor," was the extent of his gruff welcome from Sen. John O. Pastore, an apparently skeptical Democrat from Rhode Island.

Six minutes later, after Mister Rogers did his Mister Rogers thing, Pastore was playing much nicer with the others.

"I think it's wonderful," a smiling Pastore told Rogers after hearing about his work. "Looks like you just earned the $20 million."

Neville has done something wonderful, too. The Oscar-winning director of 2013's Oscar-winning documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" not only shares Rogers' largely untold story, but, at least to this "Mister Rogers" veteran, he does so in a surprisingly tender and moving way.

After seeing it, I felt more connected with and more grateful to Fred Rogers than I ever had. I also found myself missing him more than I ever thought I would. I teared up, and because of him I'm not afraid to tell you that.

I imagine I'm not alone. Right now, as I type this, the United States government is separating incoming immigrants from their children at the border with Mexico. It's part of a strategy intended to dissuade other asylum-seekers -- other poor, tired, huddled masses -- from heading northward, but it's an exceptionally cruel one.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, everyone should go see "Won't You Be My Neighbor" -- but those government officials probably need to see it the most. They'll learn things, about people, about children. They'll also get a look at what true Christian charity means.

And, most of all, they'll also be reminded something that Mister Rogers has been saying since 1968: that children -- all children -- are precious.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Friends . . .

Friends having birthdays on the same day . . .
August 8 . . .

Darlene Mulock . . .
Met each other in 1970, Baraboo, Wisconsin . . .
our children played together, our families skied, boated, camped, had so much fun together . . .
Darlene made the best Raisin Cookies ever!
She is tiny yet mighty . . .
Loyal . . . Honest . . . Beautiful in every way . . .




Kathy Speese . . .
Met in the mid eighties . . .
Worked together at the hospital . . .
Excellent nurse . . .
Caring . . . Empathetic . . . Understands suffering . . . Loved her patients, they loved her . . .
One more thing . . . crazy, funny, loud, loves hockey, can be obnoxious . . . tee hee . . .



These Friendship Quotes Say It Best . . .

“No friendship is an accident."
― O. Henry, Heart of the West

"There is nothing I wouldn't do for those who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature."
— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

"Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain.
It's not something you learn in school.
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven't learned anything.”
― Muhammad Ali

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: '
What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
— C.S. Lewis

“You can never, ever do enough for yourself . . . “
— lynne gordon

***

Happy Birthday Darlene and Kathy . . .
love
lynne

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Flower Play Day . . .

Nothing makes me happier . . . than a little flower tweaking . . .
Although . . . an occasional piece of chocolate . . . or two . . . shhhh . . . never refused . . .
Hand painted stone is by my friend/artist . . . Donna Treppa . . .




”Where flowers bloom so does hope".
Lady Bird Johnson

love
lynne