Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series of unusual stories.
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week is a tribute to Mr Rogers. I have one rare tape on Mr Rogers in my library of unusual records, and when I share this with people I present it as “a side of Mr Rogers you may have never heard.” Most listeners agree: This is a very incredible album. Specifically, this is Fred Rogers translating the complexity of death and pain into helping parents deal with a huge fear: The death of their kids. He also relates similar comfort to kids themselves. And then you meet the children, who are all wonderful, happy, and seemingly more aware of the moment than many adults three times their age. I’m posting it this week because we need more compassion in the world, presently.
This is what the 1983 cassette “Healing with Love” is all about, and its obscure placement in the Mr Rogers discography only makes it more interesting. This wasn’t work for PBS. It was seemingly only intended for the patients and their parents, and copies of the tape were produced in small numbers. There is no way this topic would have made it onto his show (though Bruce Haack on Mr Rogers is a favorite in that category)
This tape celebrates the word of Dr Gerald Jampolsky, who is a kindred spirit of Fred Rogers. You are introduced to Jampolsky, his group of patients, their parents, and then encounter some frightening moments with a parent grieving a dead child. Dr Jampolsky manages a phone hotline for terminally ill children and consoles parents, both those grieving a death or managing stress, and Jampolsky’s love and care for everyone is to be admired. Hear the entire tape here.
Of course, we had to make a tribute to all of this, and that can be found in Side A for this week, “Mr Roger’s Metaphysical Phone Hotline” including some of the more intense Mr Rogers sentences I’ve ever heard. Here’s one: “Do you consider death an enemy?” – Wild.
Side B for this week continues our serial Charlie Pickle. (Hear all the story up to this point) – This week introduces you to your first day’s work at Company Statistics, where both you and Charlie work, and you’re given some tips on helping everyone out with the coffee.