Oct 122021

Yesterday was a writing day for me, after being away from it for several days. I started the day answering e-mails, then checking some details online for my newest Big Lake book, then I wrote about 6,000 words. That puts me at about 14,000 words since I started it on September 30th. That’s slow progress for me due to medical appointments keeping me busy, and admittedly, a certain amount of goofing off and being lazy. I’m surprised Miss Terry doesn’t get fed up and kick me to the curb.

Instead, she finished editing and proofreading the first four chapters of the new book, and after I made her corrections, I sent them off to Roberta to proofread. As if that wasn’t enough, Terry was also busy with some bookkeeping and other tasks here at the house, and then she made delicious homemade pizzas for us for dinner. I’d show you a picture of them, but they tasted so good that I was too busy eating to remember to take any.

I also got the print-formatted manuscript of Ka-Bar Karma back over the weekend, and yesterday Elizabeth Mackey sent me the print cover. So after I go to the post office to mail out some items and run a couple of errands today, I will try to get that uploaded to Amazon and ready to go for my readers who prefer a printed book over an e-book.

In other news, we are still exploring all the different options the many apps on our new Sony Bravia TV give us. Sunday night, we watched It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, and we were both very impressed with Tom Hanks’ playing the role of children’s favorite, Mr. Rogers. I guess this seems only fitting because the two men were sixth cousins

The iconic kids show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ran from 1968 to 2001, and everything I have ever read about Fred Rogers said he was one of the most genuine and loving human beings ever. Unlike most children’s television, the program dealt with real-world things like death, disability, sibling rivalry, problems at school, and even divorce. All things that greatly impact kids’ lives but that adults never seem to want to discuss with them.

Among other things, the movie put to rest an urban legend that has been floating around for as long as I can remember, that Fred Rogers had been a Navy SEAL and a sniper in the military. There is no truth to that, and in fact, I could not find any reference to him ever serving in the military. He was, however, an ordained minister. Fred Rogers and his wife Joanne married in 1952, had two children, and remained devoted to each other until his death from stomach cancer in 2003. The hero to generations of children of all ages was laid to rest in Unity Cemetery in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – We look for someone to grow old together with, but the secret is to find someone to stay a child with!

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Writing and Mister Rogers”

  1. Enjoyed this blog post. An interesting note about Mr.Rogers was that his mother knitted all the sweaters he wore on the show. She knitted him a new one every Christmas.

  2. Fred Rogers’s grandfather Fred McFeely founded the McFeely Brick Co. in my hometown of Port Matilda, PA. It was located on Brick Street at the east end of the town adjacent to the railroad, and employed 200 men from the little town of 600 people and from the townships and “hollars” in the surrounding hills.. In “Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood,” Mr.McFeely was the name of the mail carrier and of the “speedy delivery” man in honor of Fred Rogers’s’ grandfather. In 1954, the demand for the bricks made from rock in the northern side of the Muncy Mountain, began to wane, and by 1956, Hammer’s Restaurant, the only restaurant in town, was sold, and my father moved on to another profession, as did the men who worked at the brickyard. Many found jobs at nearby Penn State University. The source for much of the above is from my book, WAR BABIES IN A SMALL TOWN, published by Author House. Subtitle: “Everyone he met was his straight man!” 267 pages of a humorist’s life from age four to his septuagenarian years. As you read, follow also, the chapters containing the town cop Charles “Ruffy” Steele, a man who played a large part in the author’s first 23 years!

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