LET US NOW PRAISE famous men — if only to keep them famous. Pittsburgh’s Mister Rogers was famous to generations of children who watched his TV show and responded to his soothing voice and kind manner and so believed it was a lovely day in every neighborhood. But today’s kids grow up not knowing Mister Rogers, yet they enjoy his legacy through TV shows produced by the Fred Rogers Company such as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Peg + Cat.” So it came as a sign of the times when Idlewild amusement park in Ligonier announced that the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ride will be revamped as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. As long as the kids enjoy themselves, Fred Rogers’ memory will still be honored.
ALTHOUGH IT was late in coming, the service of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II brought the African-American unit renown. Last week its chief flight instructor, C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, known as the Father of Black Aviation, was honored with a stamp issued by the Postal Service. The famous flier, who died in 1996, came from Bryn Mawr, Pa., where a dedication ceremony was held Thursday. Some of the Tuskegee Airmen came from Western Pennsylvania and a memorial to the unit stands in Sewickley Cemetery. The Anderson stamp is the 15th in the Postal Service’s Distinguished American Series.
LET US NOW PRAISE famous ducks, including Pittsburgh’s 40-foot-tall rubber duck, the star of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts last fall. The duck has been in storage, but now it has a new assignment, to go south in May to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. Although the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust owns the duck, its creator, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, gets to choose the cities where it appears. Since the rubber duck attracted more than a million visitors while floating near the Point, Norfolk is assured that its arrival there will set locals a-quacking.