Not Such a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Tulane Law Student Accused of Stealing Shoe of Mister Rogers

Faculty members at Tulane Law School (where I began my teaching career) are searching for the culprit in a dastardly crime: the theft of one of Mr. Rogers’ shoes from the Children’s Museum during the Barrister’s Ball. It appears that someone took a different meaning to his question “could you be mine?” when they spotted the unguarded display. As Mister Rogers might say, the question is now “can you return it?” — I knew you could.


This has not been a great year for Tulane after having to apologize for a widely reported study showing what the authors believed was evidence of campaign contributions influencing opinions on the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Dean and law school have recognized errors in the report. But that pales in comparison with pilfering Mister Rogers’ shoe wear.

Below is the letter from the law school to all law students to uncover the offending law student (faculty and friends apparently are not under suspicion). For identification, you might want to look for someone walking around in one of these shoes and call the authorities as soon as you see them. One legged students are likely to be questioned first, but here is the message from the law school:

Students, we need your help with a theft that occurred at Barrister’s Ball. As you know, the event was held in the Children’s Museum. There was a display devoted to “Mr. Rogers” (Fred Rogers of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”) at the top of a staircase. The display contained shoes actually worn by Mr. Rogers, on loan from a private collection. These shoes are therefore unique and irreplaceable.

During the ball one of the shoes was stolen, most likely by a student. The theft was noticed Sunday morning by the museum staff but not reported to us until today. I’m afraid I cannot overemphasize the gravity of this incident. It appears that one of the students of this Law School committed theft, a serious crime. It is also a violation of the Tulane University Code of Student Conduct. Moreover, what was stolen was of very high value. The stolen item must be returned immediately. Otherwise, the Law School may be forced to pay for the item and future SBA events held in venues off campus will be in serious jeopardy.

Until close of business tomorrow (Wednesday) we are taking a “no questions asked” approach to this situation. Our primary goal is simply the return of the shoe. If you know anything about this incident, please report it to Dean Netherton or myself. You can also communicate with SBA President [redacted]. You can report anonymously if you wish. If the shoe is returned to Dean Netherton’s office by close of business tomorrow, the Museum will not turn over the matter to the NOPD. If it is not, the Museum will turn over the matter to the NOPD. I hope it is obvious that being under suspicion or arrested in connection with this incident would have the most serious negative implications for your future career as a lawyer.

Thank you for your help,

Stephen M. Griffin

Vice Dean of Academic Affairs

My suggestion is to play the song below over and over again in the hallways of the law school until someone breaks. If that fails, it is time for King Friday XIII to set Daniel Strip├Ęd Tiger on the trial. I personally have long suspected Donkey Hodie, A classic disgruntled employee, Donkey Hodie was sent away by King Friday who did not want him building a windmill close to the castle. He was sent away to a location known only in Cheney-esque terms as “Someplace Else.” I would start there if I were the NOPD.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we’re together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please?
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

14 thoughts on “Not Such a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Tulane Law Student Accused of Stealing Shoe of Mister Rogers

  1. It was the Community Dwelling Elder again! Her neighborly instincts tell her to keep children’s balls. Can Mr. Roger’s shoes really be that far behind?

  2. Jill, this is what happens when you don’t keep such criminals in jail. That woman should be locked up for at least a year. What’s next, the beloved Lampchops puppet?? Will her dislike for children ever cease?

  3. Sally,

    Preventative detention for elders, you are right! Next thing you know she’ll claim some kid stole her false teeth. (That last statement is based on actual events.)

  4. Alan:

    Thanks for the update. As you can see, this has been a traumatic period for everyone on this blog. The honor and grandeur of the Green Wave has been restored (with the footwear of Mister Rogers). I added the update to the blog.

    All my best, to the faculty.

    Best,

    JT

  5. This thread reminds me of a funny prank call using what’s known as a ‘soundboard’. It has a number of buttons on the screen that trigger various verbal responses and if done right it can make the person on the other end believe they are having a conversation with someone. There are a number of pretty dopey ones out there but this one is my favorite. Mr. Rogers calls a man about a missing cat:

  6. i’m glad it’s back.

    oh, and a mr. rogers memorial complete with statue is being built here in pgh.

    i liked mr. rogers, he liked me “just the way i am.” ; )

  7. Maybe you could make changes to the page subject title Not Such a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Tulane Law Student Accused of Stealing Shoe of Mister Rogers JONATHAN TURLEY to more generic for your subject you make. I liked the the writing withal.

  8. Hola! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

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