Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘Mr. Rogers’
Posted: May 30th, 2013

VMA logoWhere did four decades go, and how did they slip away so quickly? This summer, the Villa Maria Academy class of 1973 celebrates its 40th reunion.

In the past couple of weeks, I have seen and heard from a lot of folks from my class. Some I see on Facebook. I ran into Marilyn McLaughlin Gallagher in Walmart. She will forever be the mayor of the Munchkin City to me, in the county of the land of Oz. She played the character in a play I directed when our junior class presented a Villa Maria version of the Wizard of Oz.  Or maybe she was the coroner.

Our Oz story concentrated on “no place like Villa.” We substituted plain brown loafers for ruby slippers — we were pretty stuck on plain brown loafers in those days, and by “we,” I mean the uniform police under the jurisdiction of the good sisters of St. Joseph. Our class was blessed with a uniform of heather blue skirts, cardigan sweaters that buttoned to the chin and matching knee socks. For dress day, we wore suit jackets, jewel neckline blouses that buttoned up the back and plain stockings.

We were blessed because the class ahead of us had invested in brown tweed skirts and sweaters. Not many girls looked good in brown tweed skirts with white Peter Pan collar blouses and plain brown cardigans. Even Mr. Rogers wore red, and his had a flashy zipper.

I often drove my car — a 1965 Chevy Bel Air — over the double-lane sidewalk that connected to the West Erie Plaza to the VMA parking lot. It was a big sidewalk and a perfect shortcut because waiting for the light on Pittsburgh Avenue or trying to gain entrance into the parking lot via a left-hand turn from West Eighth Street could take minutes — many minutes, precious minutes. I made a movie of one of those rides, and poles were promptly installed in that driveway, rather sidewalk. I think they are still there.

I haven’t attended reunion events in a very long time. But when the Party on the Patio kicks up on July 19, I will be there to share memories of Sports Days, Oz and listen to the laughter of women who are still my closest friends. A 1973 group will also gather at the beach on July 6.

Some of the best advice I ever received came at our commencement (where we all wore white dresses — try finding one of those when 100 plus other girls are looking for one). The speaker advised, “Make new friends; keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” Thanks to the Scouts for the message, I have plenty of silver and gold to cherish. Here’s to the Villa Victors.

If you need info on a class reunion at Prep or Villa, visit www.prep-villa.com.  Thanks to my pal, Christine Eddy at Villa for all the updates.

Pam Parker, a proud graduate of Villa Maria Academy, is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three and stepmom to three.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 14th, 2012

The man in sneakers and a cardigan often came into our house. I was probably more impressed with Mister Rogers than my kids, and PBS invites everyone to add a comment to “Mister Rogers Inspiration: Share yours, then pass it on!

You can share your Mister Rogers memory, here on Facebook or Twitter. Visit  pbs.org/misterrogers or use the hashtag #thanksmisterrogers. Fred Rogers hosted the program from 1968–2001.

Born in LatrobePennsylvania, he was instrumental in changing TV broadcasting for children, and he did it from WQED-TV in Pittsburgh. Weekly themes were fairly common. Each show featured the trolley, a trip to the Neighborhood of Make Believe where memorable  puppets  – with Mr. Rogers voicing many of them — taught us many lessons.

If your family grew up with Mr. Rogers, a visit to the PBS site of Mr. Rogers’ house will bring back memories of the man who created a worldwide neighborhood with simple messages in a home setting.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized