As most children of the 70’s in Pittsburgh are apt, I do love Mr. Rogers. My Mum describes how I would rush pell mell home from the busstop to watch him after kindergarten each day. I don’t really remember that (I was 4 and 5) but I do have a few vivid memories of the show itself.
High among those is the visit from actress Margaret Hamilton in 1975 – she was there to help us kids not be so afraid of her witch character from The Wizard of Oz. It worked for me! I was fascinated by how they literally showed her playing dress up to be an actor, not a real witch. They never talked about real witches at all – they kept it very simple and basic.
I just rewatched this segment and it was delightful.
The other thing I remember from this episode was learning what it meant to be an actor – that it was a real job. And it didn’t sound like a job that I wanted to have.
To this day, I think Mr. Rogers handled this beautifully – helping children apply our understanding of make believe to the arts.