“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Sound familiar? Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers, known to millions of kids for over the 30 years took us into “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” for fun and learning. Of course we’d never admit we were actually learning something from the show, it was just fun TV.

 It’s hard to believe but the show debuted 43 years ago today on February 19, 1968 from the Pittsburgh studio now called “The Fred Rogers Studio” in Fred’s honor.. I was only 4 at the time but remember my many early days watching Mr. Rogers as he spent his days teaching me about everything from how factories work to how musical instruments make their sounds. He also touched on serious topics like the death of your goldfish and even divorce, hardly discussed openly in the early 1970’s. I especially loved the opening of the show where we get a tour of his house. Am I the only one who wanted a real-working traffic signal in my room?

We got to meet some of Mr. Roger’s kooky neighbors like Mr. McFeely “Speedy Delivery”, Officer Clemmons, Handyman Negri, and my favorite, Lady Aberlin.

My favorite part of the show was when we took a trip on the trolley to the “Land of Make-Believe”. Who could forget King Friday XIII or Henrietta Pussycat? (I won my share of trivia contests…before the Internet of course… knowing Henrietta (mew mew mew) Pussycat.

Now the old cliche states that you are only really famous when you’ve been parodied on Saturday Night Live. That’s even true with “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” with Eddie Murphy’s classic “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” Eddie’s character still keeps people laughing even today.

We lost Mr. Rogers in 2003 but his legacy lives on in reruns on some PBS stations, DVD’s and even at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. where his trademark “cardigan sweater” lives. I’ve seen the exhibit. You should definitely take a look the next time you are visiting our great nation’s capitol.

Bye neighbors.