Because everyone needs a neighbor. Because only one man could pull off the cardigan-Keds combo. And because the trolley to the Neighborhood of Make Believe really does look like a cable car — San Franciscans ought to don their sweaters next week, March 20, in honor of Mister Rogers' 80th birthday.
“We're asking everyone everywhere to wear their favorite sweater on that day,” pleads Mr. McFeely — the fast-talking “Speedy Delivery” man on the long-running PBS show Mister Rogers Neighborhood (actually “McFeely” is David Newell, the fast-talking PR man for Family Communications, Inc., the nonprofit founded by Rogers himself in 1971). Rogers, by the way, died in 2003 at age 74.
“It doesn't have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program, it just has to be special to you,” continued McFeely/Newell.
And, by the way, if you were to, perchance, run out and purchase a sweater in one of San Francisco's locally owned shops — well, that'd be special to them. But we digress.
Finally, “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” Day isn't meant to merely be a sartorial endeavor. Its organizers are calling for increased neighborliness (and, in a sign of the times we live in, they've put together a 12-page guidebook to explain just what neighborliness is). Some suggestions:
- Start a sweater drive;
- Read to children;
- Visit old folks in a nursing home;
- Depose King Friday and install a parliamentary government (sorry, couldn't resist)
Oh, by the way: You can send the organizers your sweater photos here.