Mr. Rogers provides some solace [UPDATED]Published 4:02am Monday, April 22, 2013 Updated 6:04am Monday, April 22, 2013
A quote from the late Fred Rogers provides some comfort following the tragic events in Boston this past Monday.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ That pulled me through.”
Many people, including John Williams of WCCO Radio, referred to that quote earlier this week.
“In the midst of this tragedy, we’re reminded that there are more caring and helpful people than there is evil,” said Williams. “Even though he’s been gone for many years, we still appreciate the wisdom of Mr. Rogers.”
Rogers, who died in 2003, was best known for creating and hosting “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” from 1968 to 2001. He came across with a gentle, soft-spoken personality and directness to his audiences.
Over the span of three decades on television, Rogers became an American icon of children’s entertainment and education. He was a symbol of compassion, patience and morality.
At the start of each TV episode, Rogers arrived at his home while singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” He then changed into sneakers and a zippered cardigan sweater.
Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, more than 40 honorary degrees and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions and was ranked among TV Guide’s Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
The Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History.”
of Errol Mann
During my first stint with the Daily Journal, in the early 1970s, I had the privilege of covering Minnesota Vikings football games when the opponent was the Detroit Lions at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. Back then the Lions’ kickoff and field goal specialist was Campbell native and Clitherall resident Errol Mann.
Many memories came to mind when I heard about Mann’s passing on Tuesday.
I always remembered taking a photo of Errol and his brother Randy, a Fergus Falls resident, at Met Stadium after one of those Lions games. After the season was over, I enjoyed a beer and conversation with Mann one evening at the old Becker’s Supper Club which is now the American Legion.
“It’s tough to stop Alan Page and those Viking Purple People Eaters,” said Mann.
In those days, the Vikings had the Lions’ number. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton had many good games while playing Detroit.
Mann, when attempting kicks, used the straight-on style which is now almost never used by placekickers. He later played with the Oakland Raiders and was their field goal kicker in January 1977 when Oakland defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl.
In the fall of 1977 Mann, still with Oakland, had the best season of his career. He led the NFL in extra points attempted (42) and made 39 of those kicks. Mann, who played college football at the University of North Dakota, led the NFL in points scored with 99.
When he retired from pro football, Mann was not unlike many former athletes who found it hard to be away from the spotlight. He did, however, make a successful transition into the business world.
This also allowed for Mann to take part in the speakers’ circuit, reliving his bygone years in pro football. He was a people person who had a lot of fans in Otter Tail County.
Mann also found new hobbies following his pro football career. He built an airplane and spent many pleasurable hours piloting the uniquely-designed Long-Ez aircraft.
In 1988 he accepted a position as a financial consultant with Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood, in Missoula, Mont.
He had a unique life until his passing at age 71. Not bad for a man who once played eight-man football at Campbell High School.