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Just like Mr Rogers!

Dear friends,

As I said in the wee hours of the dawn, this is my 65th birthday.  I did have a present.  I have said on facebook and to friends off-facebook, and on and off listservs and blogs, that this term I'm exhausted from teaching 3 sections in a row and my back and feet kill me (I complain a lot).  About 3 weeks into term I began to give up on all shoes, and when I get into class I regularly take off my shoes and put on my ballet slippers.  Today I was late to the second class, and instead of easy shoes (like loafters or pumps) I had leather furry boots with a zip to get off my feet.

I had to tug in front of them all.  Embarrassed, I said something or other about winter being here and how wet it was.  Well one girl said, "Dr Moody, I think you're just like Mr Rogers."  And then another chimed in, "Yes Dr Moody sometimes you remind me of Mr Rogers!"  I of course take this in the best spirit as a compliment and said in reply, "Well I even have a Henrietta Pussycat, only her name is Clarissa pussycat." 


P.S. The pictures are very like my shoes. I bought boots just like that but grey in Macy's, and today I had leopard skin slippers with me to match my brown skirt and top. I took the images from Macy's site.  The admiral has promised to install a iphoto my computer and then I took will be able to take photos with our camera and put them on the Net.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
A duck
Dear Ellen, sorry to be a day late, but I hope you had a good birthday. I thought it would be nice to post a birthday poem on the list for the occasion, but I haven't found one that I like - however, I do like this poem by Fleur Adcock, which is about presents, if not birthdays. What I really love is the last line!


A Rose Tree

When we went to live at Top Lodge
my mother gave me a rose tree.

She didn't have to pay for it—
it was growing there already,

tall and old, by the gravel drive
where we used to ride our scooters.

No one else was allowed to pick
the huge pale blooms that smelt like jam.

It was mine all through that summer.
In October we moved again.

But even never seeing it
couldn't stop it from being mine:

one of those eternal presents.
At the new house I had a duck.

Fleur Adcock

Nov. 29th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
From Caroline:

("A Very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh.")

Nov. 29th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Mr Rogers
Dear Mr. Rogers....he was a very welcomed guest in our home for many

Here’s to many, many more ‘celebrations’ and ‘special’ presents, Ellen.



Tonight we were remembering that song: "everything goes together, because you're all one piece." How many times I've heard that, almost as much as the number and alphabet songs from Sesame Street.

Nov. 30th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
Oh, Ellen, you are far more charming that Mr. Rogers, and those leopard print slippers would make his cardigans blush. Happy birthday! May you have many, many more.

Nov. 30th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
Thank you, Caroline. Later in the evening Jim and I remembered that the image of this man coming home, taking off his "good" shoes to put on his sneakers, the cardigan sweater is an upper middle or middle class white male image. But it's clearly so well intended, it's hard to fault. In the class we did talk of Mr Rogers a bit, and a couple of students said how their nephews/nieces watch "appalling" TV on Disney, and how commercialized Nickelodeon has become.
Nov. 30th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ellen, I must admit I'd never heard of Mr Rogers - just googled him and discovered he was a TV host, who probably never got seen in the UK, I suspect. I do agree that a lot of TV now is very disheartening. Glad you liked that poem - I think maybe I like the last line but one the most after all. It would be nice to give an eternal present.:) I liked all the Judith Wright ones you posted on the list today, especially the middle one. love, Judy
Dec. 1st, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
Just like Mr Rogers! Judith Wright
Ah! I'm surprised. I am one of those who somtimes assume the UK and US and Canada are just about one culture when it comes to public media, especially since the Net.

Mr Rogers is a household word in the US, and especially familiar (even to those who don't want public TV) is the repeat ceremony of every single program of him coming in to his house, taking off fancy tie shoes (conservative) and putting on sneakers, taking off his suit or other jacket and putting it in the closet (hanging it up exemplarily in a casual way) and then putting on a cardigan. All while talking to the viewer.

A middle class male white image but done so tenderly and meant so well .... The program moved slowly and offered nuanced empathies with the individual characters. Laura used to get intensely absorbed, would cry (over Henrietta Pussycat).

I just love Wright. The enduring strength and struggle of life are there.

Must run off now to teach,
Dec. 1st, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
Two new neighbors
Judy wrote: "I treasure the memory of a brief period when Mr. Rogers introduced two new neighbors, a gay couple. They weren't on for very long. This would have been ca. 1980.

At some level I suppose he was an icon of white male privilege--but for most adults watching the show I think he was transparently the nerdy kid with the puppets who somehow grew up doing what he'd been doing when he was a child. Including taking off his outdoor shoes and outdoor voice when he came in.

It's a nice comparison. Happy belated birthday, Ellen!"
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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