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May 23, 2017

Writer shares tear-jerking story about Mister Rogers

The beloved and long-running children's TV show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" returned earlier this month when the streaming service Twitch began playing all 886 episodes consecutively to support PBS.

That marathon will end at the beginning of June, but for those who grew up with the show, host Fred Rogers' neighborly ways resonate to this day. Just ask Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican.

In a long series of tweets, Breznican, who grew up in Rogers' hometown of Pittsburgh, shared a story about his interaction with Rogers after a quote of his began circulating on social media in response to the tragedy in Manchester.

Breznican detailed the heartfelt experience he had while attending the University of Pittsburgh in the 1990s when the show was still running. According to him, he had lost touch with the show and was having a difficult time in college when he rediscovered it.

Breznican says it made him feel better, and a few days later, he actually ran into Rogers while leaving the offices of his school newspaper.

But their conversation didn't end there, as Rogers could tell something was bothering him.

Rogers died in 2003 at the age of 74. His legacy lives on, however, as his iconic congressional testimony arguing for the funding of public broadcasting has re-emerged in response to President Donald Trump proposing cutting federal money to the arts.

It helps that, as Breznican notes, he walked the talk of being a true neighbor.

You can read Breznican's entire tear-jerking thread here.