What Did Mr. McFeely Do On The Final Episode That He Had Never Done Before?

David Newell (as Mr. McFeely) did something on this final episode that he had never done before. He shook Fred's hand just before he exited. 

As David explains, "That little handshake is there...That handshake's for me. I was saying a lot to Fred in that handshake. Thank you and it's just been wonderful knowing you for 35 years." 

Rob Owen from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, interviewed Fred Rogers around the time when the final episodes were taping and asked Fred why he decided to end the series.

"It was a fairly simple, straightforward decision," Fred Rogers said. "Of course, I prayed about it." 

"I don't like to be spooky about stuff, but I do think that sometimes you feel inspired to make certain decisions," Rogers said. "I've never tried to make a decision that had to do with selfishness. I think we certainly have done the kind of work I have wanted to do for children and one of the avenues has been the 'Neighborhood.' That will always be a part of who I am, and I trust it will always be a part of those who have grown up with it and will continue to."

Mr. Owen asked Fred if he planned to retire.

"Retire? No, I'm not retiring," Fred said. "There are so many things Family Communications is involved with. When I started, television was the new medium ... well, there are some new media now and they're taking more and more of my time." 

He spoke of his company's website (now called fredrogers.org) and the addition of then new sections for parents and behind-the-scenes photos from the "Neighborhood." Here is the complete article published 13 years ago from today.

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