Tag Archives: andy rooney

R.I.P. Andy Rooney

I hate it when I check the news in the morning only to discover that someone I admire has passed away. It wasn’t like it was completely unexpected with Andy Rooney. He was 92 years old. The report that I read said he died of complications following minor surgery.

Most people I know think of Andy Rooney as a curmudgeonly TV personality who, for three minutes every Sunday, offered his opinion on all manner of things, big and small. But Rooney hated the fact that he was a celebrity. He always said he was a writer and that is how I see him. Over the years, I’ve read 5 of Andy Rooney’s books, enjoying them all.

The first book that I read of his in December 1999 was Sincerely, Andy Rooney, his collection of letters he’d written over the years. A few years later, I read his autobiographical book about World War II, My War, which I thought was particularly good. In late 2002 I read Common Nonsense¬†and three years later read his collection of essays from 60 Minutes, Years of Minutes. The last book I read by Andy Rooney was his 2006 book, Out of My Mind. I purchased, but haven’t yet gotten around to reading his book, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wit and Wisdom.

Two things came across clearly in each of these books. First was Rooney’s ability to observer the obvious and see beyond what others might see. Second, of course, was his almost dead-pan humor. Reading these books was an exercise in controlling my laughter, while at the same time wondering to myself why I had never considered some of the obvious questions Rooney was asking.

He had his share of controversy, which he tackled head on. I might not agree with every opinion Rooney expressed over the years but I think that he was generally on the right track, asking the right questions, some of them, despite being masked by his sense of humor, difficult to face.

Rooney also had tenuous connections to the science fiction world. He and he wife were friends with Isaac and Janet Asimov.

Andy Rooney is one of those characters for which there won’t be a replacement. We might hear people say, “Oh he’s another Andy Rooney,” but the truth is there will never be another Andy Rooney. More than anything else, Rooney attempted to teach a very wide audience how to think critically, using everyday examples. He taught us that it was okay to question things, that nothing should be taken for granted.

Andy Rooney: Viewer Discretion Advised

Andy Rooney had a good piece on TV’s propensity for using “Viewer Discretion Advised” labels to attract attention to shows. Personally, I think TV should be able to show whatever it wants and people should have the option of tuning out what they don’t want to see. But, I am in the minority in that I am rational about the matter.

BTW, like Andy Rooney, I too follow a handful of the ten commandments, and I rarely use dirty words (except in my stories, where they tend to appear more frequently than I would like).

It does a body good

Milk has always been one of my favorite drinks. So I was pleased and amused this morning when I came across a segment of 60 Minutes where Andy Rooney complained about what’s being pawned off as milk these days.

You can read the essay or better yet, watch the video.

First full day in Albany

I was up at about 8 AM, showered and then spent the early part of the morning reading Foundation and Chaos. It was unusually mild out early today. I went with Eric to take Cali out for a walk after breakfast this morning and it felt almost humid.

I skimmed through the local paper during breakfast, the Albany Times Union. The opinions column had Andy Rooney’s column, which I don’t get in any of my local papers, and, as usual, I was hilarious. The column attribute included Andy Rooney’s email address, so I decided to sent him an email message, and this is what I wrote:

Mr. Rooney:

I’m writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your column, “A Staggered Life” in today’s Albany Times Union. I don’t ordinarily see your columns in print, but I’m up in Albany visiting friends this weekend, and I caught your column on the editorial page.

I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of everything I’ve read of yours which to-date includes “My War”, “Sincerely, Andy Rooney”, “Common Nonsense”, and most recently, “Years of Minutes”. I don’t watch a lot of television magazine programs, but if I happen to be near a TV at 7:55 on a Sunday night, I always tune in your segment on 60-Minutes.

I appreciate your candor, sense of humor, and skill as a writer. Most of all, I enjoy reading what you write.

Sincerely,

Jamie Todd Rubin

Early this afternoon, Eric, Ryane and I headed to a local mall where I picked up a fitted Yankee hat (size 7) since my old had really needed replacing. We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s (where our buffalo wantans came out cold the first time) and then headed back to Eric and Ryane’s house to pick up Cali and take her to the local city park.

The park was pretty desolate, but it was still mild out, although heavily overcast. We walked around for a while and allowed Cali to chase a few squirils. After dropping Cali back off at home, we headed back out and dropped Ryane off at a bridal shower in Saratoga Springs. Then Eric and I headed to a sports bar in town and spent a few hours watching the Seahawks of Seattle pound the Redskins of Washington over several beers and mixed drinks.

On our way back home, after picking up Ryane from the shower, it started snowing pretty hard. Somehow, the conversation got turned to Harlan Ellison and Eric mentioned that Ellison lived a few houses up the street from his parents. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve been past his house several times and never even knew it! I always knew his house was up in the hills but now I know more or less the address of Ellison Wonderland, which just boggles my mind for some reason.

We decided to stay in for the evening and ordered pizza. We closed out the evening playing Scrabble (which I lost) and then Uno (in which I was blown away). I can’t seem to win any type of game whatsoever. Why is that, I wonder?

I’m heading to bed now, and as I look outside, the ground it white, and the snow is still coming down pretty hard. The winds have picked up too, and are blowing strong. Weather is saying 3-5 inches by morning. We’ve got a lot planned for tomorrow–including sledding, so we’ll see how the snow turns out.

I’m so pissed I forgot my camera!