Looking back to where it all began / There Goes the Neighborhood
A Tribute to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
It was back in 1968
when MLK succumbed to hate.
And yet at Haight and Ashbury
young hippies lived on love.
That was the year a TV show
went on the air to let us know
that we are special as we are,
that we’re all beautiful.
In Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,
the world seemed right and life was good.
In cardigans and tennis shoes,
Fred Rogers calmed us down.
Unlike the vibe on Sesame Street,
Fred’s Neighborhood was less upbeat.
His quiet voice and slower pace
would comfort and console.
Oh how I miss that gentle man
who taught my children “Yes, you can!”
And on this anniversary,
l’m looking back with joy.
There Goes The Neighborhood
Well, there goes the neighborhood.
By now you’ve heard the news.
Mister Rogers boarded the last trolley last night
and bid us all goodbye.
It’s sad to say Fred is dead.
But instead of being swept with grief
let’s celebtrate the fact
that he was a believer
(and an ordained preacher at that).
Goodness, gracious how the Lord has used
that sweater-clad gentle man
in the lives of kids we love.
Mr. Rogers was nothing short of Christlike
in his calm and caring ways.
He was a man of the cloth
who offered a security blanket
to preschoolers through puppets
instead of a pulpit.
Thanks to King Friday and Prince Tuesday,
the message of Sunday
was heard most everyday
by little lambs following the lead
of the shepherd in canvas gym shoes.
Yes, Fred may be dead,
but it’s such a good feeling to know he’s alive
in the presence of the One he served.
*The above poem “There Goes the Neighborhood” was written in the Spring of 2003 the week that Fred Rogers died.