November 5, 2011

Thanks For The Memories Mr. Rooney!


Everybody calls me Rooney, just like they did in the Army.


New York, New York --- I swear it feels like it was just last week that Andy Rooney said goodbye to his loyal and faithful Sixty Minutes audience, and signed off on his last broadcast, though it was actually 4 weeks ago. CBS News announced that Andy Rooney, 92, died in a New York hospital last night, after complications from a surgical procedure.
Andy Rooney, the “60 Minutes” commentator known to generations for his wry, humorous and contentious television essays – a unique genre he is credited with inventing – died Friday night in a hospital in New York City of complications following minor surgery. He was 92, and had homes in New York City, Rensselaerville, N.Y. and Rowayton, Conn. 
“It’s a sad day at ‘60 Minutes’ and for everybody here at CBS News,” said Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of “60 Minutes.” “It’s hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much.”
I always thought of Andy as our nation’s best loved curmudgeon. My parents and grandparents watched Sixty Minutes every Sunday night at 7:00pm, and I still watch it today.

When Andy said goodbye last month I felt nostalgic, because he’s been yelling and making people think about “things” that could be absurd, or mundane, or the next big idea, or none of those things at all, for what seemed forever, and I knew that I’d miss his irreplaceable sarcasm and wit, each Sunday night.

I met Andy Rooney and his wife through a mutual acquaintance 15 years ago, and we went out for dinner. He didn’t suffer fools gladly, was very direct when he spoke, seemed fearless, and was great company because he was an expert storyteller with a sharp wit.

When we met and were saying goodbye, he said “the only reason I enjoyed meeting you is because you call me Mr. Rooney, and I like that because I don’t hear it very often.” And when he said that, for some reason we both broke out into hysterical laughter, and shared a fun and memorable moment. I leaned over to give him a hug, and then embraced his wife, and she whispered that he doesn’t like anyone but he liked me. We both turned to speak to Andy, but he was already out the door and halfway down the block. I’ll never forget that night.

Thanks for all those years of laughs, and TV memories Mr. Rooney. Rest in peace Andy.

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