Unless you are very young, you've probably heard of Mr. Rogers.  But, unless you live near our border with Canada, there's a good chance you've never heard of Mr. Dressup.  Apparently, the man who created this iconic Canadian children's show was originally from Maine.

Entertainer Ernie Coombs was born in Lewiston on November 26th, 1927.  According to Wikipedia, following his graduation from North Yarmouth Academy, he went on to work as a children's entertainer.

While working for a TV station in Pittsburgh, he met Fred Rogers.  Yes THE Fred Rogers.  In 1963, when Rogers was offered a job by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he took Coombs with him.  Together, they did an early version of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" called "Misterogers".  When Fred Rogers moved back to the United States, Coombs stayed in Canada.

Eventually, he went on to develop a long-running children's show called "Mr. Dressup".  The show revolved around Mr. Dressup and his puppet friends Casey, Finnegan, and Aunt Bird.  Like Mr. Rogers, Mr. Dressup used arts, crafts, and costumes from his "Tickle Trunk" to teach preschool aged kids important lessons.

The show ran from 1967 to 1996, but remained in reruns until 2006.  Coombs passed away in 2001.

Several years ago we got a movie about the life of Fred Rogers.  Do you suppose Canada will be doing one about Ernie Coombs sometime in the near future?


In Maine, it's not hard to find businesses, restaurants, and shops with great customer service. It could be we are that way because of the many tourists that visit us. Or it just might be our stubborn Yankee roots that we like to treat people the way we want to be treated.

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