It is with heavy heart that I report, two months after everyone else reported it, that PBS is drastically cutting its offerings of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.''
Goodbye, King Friday. Henrietta Pussycat, we sure did love you. Queen Sara, we admired your community involvement.
Here's what the Associated Press reported in June:
"PBS says it will no longer offer episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" to its member stations each weekday, but will instead send stations just one episode per week to air starting in the fall. PBS says it is making the decision because the show is no longer in production, and because its menu of other programming continues to expand.''
That means a station would have to pre-record all the episodes of the show over the summer if they wanted to try showing the tennis-shoe tossing Mr. Rogers every day.
Somehow I missed this news and only heard it on the radio this week, in August.
It's one of those things you feel you have to talk through, so I told a cashier yesterday and she was pretty broken up, also.
One guy is so upset about losing the "special nurturing voice'' of Mr. Rogers that he created this website, SaveMisterRogers.com.
As we try to absorb this devastating news, let's pay tribute to the late Mr. Rogers (he died in 2003 of stomach cancer) by reading the lyrics of one of his special songs. It's good to know that Mr. Rogers even loved our internal organs:
I think you're a special person And I like your ins and outsides. Everybody's fancy. Everybody's fine. Your body's fancy and so is mine.