The LAST Episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

The day was August 31, 2001. And if you were watching OPB at 11:30 AM, you were witnessing history, as the last episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was just getting under way.

It's The Arts. Unfortunately, Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson was nowhere to be seen.
Mr. Rogers starts his usual way: Singing his neighbor song, changing his shoes and putting on a red sweater. Then, he shows us children's drawings of the Neighborhood Trolley while the band plays "There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You."

That's one psychedelic trolley, there, kiddo. Then he shows us people loving each other. And there's not sex.

Then, there's someone at the door. It's not the repo man, but Mr. McFeeley. He says he made a video tape about artistic people. I don't think he actually edited the whole five-minute tape. It should have probably been a DVD (after all, it was 2001.), but kids didn't really care about high-tech media.

The tape consists of a guy working on a loom, a jazz band (Mr. Rogers really liked his jazz), a guy making a picture of the trolley using Photoshop, a couple dancing, a person painting clay figures, a Native American dancing session, a woman playing a violin and a person drawing and painting.

Mr. Rogers was impressed. Mr. McFeeley sings his Speedy Delivery song twice and leaves. Let's have a little Make-Believe. Last time, Lady Elaine Fairchilde was missing while the Royal Arts Festival was going on. Betty Templeton was looking for her. Cornflake S. Pecially made a self-rocking rocking chair. Lady Elaine comes back to the festival and gives every entry in the arts festival first prize. You'd think Daniel, X the Owl, and Henrietta would be in the last episode, but they were mysteriously missing.

Lady Elaine's entry is a drawing of everyone in the neighborhood. Who's missing? Harriet Cow, the schoolteacher. I just noticed that and the Mr. Rogers' staff didn't? Hmm. Then everyone goes to the RAF room in the castle (no, not the Royal Air Force, the Royal Arts Festival.) Then Mr. Rogers sings "I'm Proud of You." And then leaves.

It was announced recently that after 8 years after his death and the last episode, PBS was removing "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" from its daytime schedule. Goodbye, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. You will be missed.