Phil Hoose Interviews Mr. Rogers

Posted on Apr 15, 2017 in Music

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“During the minute or so that I am on hold, waiting for Fred Rogers to pick up the phone, I grow increasingly tense. The next voice I hear will belong to a man whose sweater is in the Smithsonian, along with the Spirit of St. Louis and pterodactyl skeletons and Archie Bunker’s chair. He is one of the most identifiable figures in American life. When he finally does answer, how many other callers will be on hold as I scramble for whatever I can get of his time?
And then the voice arrives and instantly everything is all right. It is a slow voice, offered with modulation and care. There are spaces between words and bigger spaces between sentences. The words themselves are simple. Time slows by the syllable. Fred Rogers speaks to me as he has spoken to my daughters and as he speaks to millions of children in homes and day care centers each morning, and with the same effect. I am certain that there is no one on earth with whom he would rather be talking. I am special. I am good. I am a Neighbor.”

READ MORE of the 1995 interview by author Phillip Hoose just republished in Pass it On!, The Journal of the Children’s Music Network

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