Unheralded

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — A Familiar Story About Fred Rogers … And Favorite Words

In the past several weeks, in the trailers and articles I’ve seen and read about the upcoming Mister Rogers movie, much has been familiar. As many of you know, I, too, was a deeply troubled journalist who met Fred Rogers on assignment and became the beneficiary of his otherworldly presence, compassion and love. “The entirety of “A Beautiful Day in …


Unheralded

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Fred Rogers’ Speech

Many years ago, on one of my visits to Pittsburgh, I told Fred Rogers about my experience riding in the back of a rental truck crowded with scores of Central American refugees. I vaguely remember my friend, the icon of children’s television, telling me later that he had mentioned my story in a speech. I hadn’t thought about this in …


TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — From The Desert: Fred Rogers’ Remarkable Request Of My DyingBrother

Tim Wright and I were born a few days apart in December 1957. (He’s older and rather looks it, I think.) Which is to say that Tim and I are both on the far side of a generational divide in America. Either you were a Captain Kangaroo kid or a Mister Rogers kid, and we were both Captain Kangaroo guys …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — ‘Glad To be Sad.’ From The Desert: Memories Of Dad

The desert mountains and majestic saguaro cacti were still in full darkness when the men convened that recent Saturday morning. There was Tim Wright, pastor of Community of Grace Lutheran Church in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria, and 20 or so guys who for years had been coming together weekly to study the Bible and discuss important things, (though the …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — One Of Life’s Greatest Challenges: Befriending The One In The Mirror

Last year, grief therapist Patrick O’Malley and I published “Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss.” We suggest in the book that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, that each person’s experience of mourning is as unique as a fingerprint and that, therefore, there are no reliable models, no steps and stages …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — A Memory Of Squirrel Hill: Mister Rogers And The Woman In Church

By now you’ve probably heard that Saturday’s synagogue slaughter took place in the same Pittsburgh neighborhood, Squirrel Hill, where Fred Rogers lived and worshipped himself. His spirit is now often invoked as the heartbroken city struggles to heal. The grim news for me brought back a much different memory of that place, from another autumn morning 23 years ago. I …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — I”m A Mess, You’re A Mess … And Fred Rogers’ Most Important Teaching

A particularly memorable moment in my travels with the message of Fred Rogers came a few years ago in a junior high school gym in Tampa, Fla. That afternoon, I shared with 600 students how, after meeting Mister Rogers in the mid-1990s, the great man mentored and loved me through a very, very difficult time in my life. They were …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Won’t You Be My Neighbor

On Sept. 21, 1996, a sunny Saturday morning, I had settled in with a cup of coffee and the sports page when the telephone rang in our suburban Texas home. When I answered, I was surprised to hear the voice of Fred Rogers at the other end of the line. Within a few seconds I could tell that my friend …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Psych 101: How To Be (Really) Happy

In the autumn of 1995, on my first visit to the office of Fred Rogers in Pittsburgh, I noticed three Emmy Awards stacked in the clutter atop a filing cabinet, like neglected bookends. No trophy case for Fred. I asked him about the awards. “I don’t know how to talk of it,” the icon of children’s television said . “If …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Barbara Bush And The Aspiration To Goodness

My wife and I spent a healing hour watching the news Tuesday night. When was the last time anyone could say that? The topic, of course, was the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush at age 92. As the tributes poured in, how nice it was to be reminded that her human greatness did not derive from her role …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Ten Years of ‘I’m Proud Of You’

“I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers,” was first published 10 years ago this August. These seem like good days to reread it — for the first time. Also, there have been some significant challenges this year for the people I love, and for me, and, frankly, I just want to see him again and hear his voice. …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — My Dad, My Hero

Many years ago, my dad and I were driving through the little town in North Dakota where he grew up. I asked him how many times his parents had come to watch him play sports. Dad had been a star football and basketball player in that place. “Twice,” he answered without hesitation. “My mom came and watched me play basketball …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Making A Difference

A few weeks ago, I opened a drawer at home and there it was, my 40th birthday present from Fred Rogers. We had moved a couple of times, so it had been tucked away and I had not seen or thought of it for at least a couple of years. (My 40th was eighteen years ago.) It brought back the …