It’s an ugly day in the neighborhood — but I’m still hoping you’ll be mine.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

What a kick it would have been to live next door to Mr. Rogers.

By all accounts, he was as pleasant in real life as he was on his TV show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. And, if we’d been neighbors, even though he was a lifelong Republican and I’m of a more liberal persuasion, I like to picture us occasionally hanging out at the back fence, shooting the political breeze.

I can’t imagine things turning ugly if we didn’t agree. There’d have been no name-calling or cardigan-throwing if we differed over health care or taxation or mask-wearing mandates.

I bet I would’ve learned some things during our chats. Calm and reflective people like Mr. Rogers usually bring a lot to the table — or to the fence. And I know he would have listened to my opinions without rolling his eyes or calling me stupid or a snowflake. …


Jean Shortall-Roznik

Tri-citizen: Ireland, Canada, US. Mother, physical therapist, environmentalist, contrarian. Washington Post, Globe and Mail, Charlotte Observer, NPR.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store