If you've read the About Me section of this site, you know that this Ugga Mugga blog was named in honor of my son's favorite character from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Daniel Striped Tiger. Him and Lady Aberlin would affectionately rub noses (Eskimo kiss) while saying "ugga mugga" in the Neighborhood of Make Believe.
So this morning I opened my inbox and saw an email with the subject line "thought this might interest you...." from "Betty Aberlin." In the email, Ms. Aberlin directed me to The Neighborhood Archive: a collection of all things Mister Rogers. The specific post she linked to was a collection of Daniel Tiger observations and details, in which she posted a reply explaining the origin of Daniel Tiger and her use of "ugga mugga." Here it is:
"my first boyfriend's mother, Bessie, had told me that 'ugga-mugga' was a catchphrase from the roaring twenties. I brought it, and the Eskimo kiss, to Daniel's clock, and at first Fred did not like the expression of affection. I had been raised with Kukla, Fran & Ollie, and Fran often expressed her love for Kukla and Ollie by touching them. This made them more real to me. Daniel, who came more and more to embody the earliest of the Early Childhood Development stages, was very real to me, and very dear. Since Fred was not physically demonstrative, and did not want me to be touchy-feeley with the puppets, I was able to honor Bessie, to bring my profound fondness for Daniel, and my grateful appreciation of Fred into the 4 syllables of "nonsense". It was always hard to say goodbye to Daniel, and the "ugga-mugga" became a loving ritual for us.I quickly replied to Ms. Aberlin thanking her for taking the time to contact me and doing my best to humbly explain just how much her, Mr. Fred Rogers and ficticious Daniel Tiger mean to me. She quickly replied once again. As you can imagine, it was a memorable day for me!
Since Daniel was a growing tame tiger, and his new stripes sometimes itched, Lady Aberlin sometimes scratched the new stripe....
and I believe that 'by his stripes we are healed' pertained to Daniel, and his unguarded vulnerability, truthfulness, and humble candor. He is a precious soul, as all children, young and old, are.
I hope you enjoy learning the origin of this blog's title as much as I did. And as I said in my email to Ms. Aberlin, "Who would have guessed that all of these years later that simple conversation where she (Bessie) mentioned 'ugga mugga' would touch so many? It's proof that even the smallest gesture can have a huge impact...from a mighty acorn..."
So choose your words and actions carefully...who knows what or whom they will inspire!
Visit The Neighborhood Archives (neighborhoodarchive.blogspot.com) for much, much more interesting Mister Roger's insights!