THE SPECKTATOR

Be a Good Neighbor!

WJCT's Mister Rogers Sweater Drive is underway

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Kerry Speckman shares her unique perspective and observations on people, places and events on the First Coast and beyond. She's also the 2012 winner of Jacksonville Dancing With the Stars, so she's got that going for her.

For 11 years, WJCT has honored the memory of Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers) by collecting gently-used sweaters, jackets and blankets for local residents in need. The Mister Rogers Neighborhood Sweater Drive runs through the month of November with donations  being accepted at WJCT Studios and all VyStar Credit Union and Two Men and a Truck locations.

Getting residents neighbors to donate the the Sweater Drive is the whole point of this blog post, so feel free to stop reading and begin collecting your donations if you have no interest in the remainder of this completely self-indulgent (yet educational) post. 

1. Pennsylvania: Mister Rogers was born in Latrobe (home of Latrobe Brewery, original brewer of Rolling Rock), and I was born in Aston.

2. Puppetry: Mister Rogers voiced many of the characters in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe including King Friday XIII, X the Owl, Daniel Striped Tiger and Lady Elaine Fairchilde. As a child, I had a Mickey Mouse ventriloquist dummy and performed at family functions until Mickey broke his neck (translation: the rubber band that attached his head to his body snapped). For the record, I am still trying to master the phrase: "Please pass me the butter" (sounds like "Hlease hass ee the utter").

3. Ministry: Fred Rogers earned his divinity degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained by the Presbyterian church. I received my credentials of ministry from the Universal Life Church Monastery, a non-denominational ministry, via the Internet (I can legally perform marriages, by the way, if anyone is interested).

4. Cardigans: We both love cardigan sweaters, though, my mom didn't knit any of mine like his did (she did crochet some lovely afghans, however).

5. College: Fred and I graduated from small, private colleges in Florida (Rollins College and Jacksonville University, respectively).

6. Piano: Both of us took lessons as children (in my case, "took" means "was forced to").

7. "Dancing": Fred displayed his lack of skill at doing the wave and the moonwalk:



while I flopped at the "WOP" during Dancing With the Stars complete with the white man's overbite (scroll to 1:06 to get straight to the wreckage):

8. Rumors: Contrary to popular belief, neither Fred nor I were Navy Seals and/or snipers.

 

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