Andrew Aitken Rooney died two days ago at age ninety-two. This, his last essay, aired just one month ago. Almost everything he said really does ring true: that he will always be a writer, people do appreciate him, and he is lucky. This is what really surprised me about his last rant, that is wasn’t a rant. I have to admit that listening to his complaints every day would annoy the heck out of me but once a week for five or so minutes was just enough. I don’t have as much respect for other people that share their opinion in the media every week. But I respect him for serving in the army in WWII even though he was against the war to begin with. I respect that he as the courage, creativity, and passion to voice his thoughts that listeners probably already knew or already thought.
Some would say that anybody would love that job. Yet no one could be as passionate about it as an older person like Andy (never Mr.) Rooney. Honestly, this blog is hard enough for me to write and I don’t have to put out something interesting to the entire nation every week. He had the career that every writer would dream about, for his whole life. The office that every one of his 60 Minutes segments were shot in is where he went to work every day on his typewriter. He built that desk, inspired by the beautiful slab of walnut that serves as its top.
I guess what I admire is that Andy Rooney was honest in his work. I grew up watching CBS Sunday Morning with my parents every week before church and 60 Minutes at night while doing my homework. Andy Rooney’s segment was one that I didn’t take seriously because it came off as a grumpy old man, sharing his complaints of the ever-changing modern world. Why was it even included in a serious new show? The Andy Rooney Game was a sort of a comic relief to the reports of war, scandal, disaster, and politics. His thoughts were our thoughts so everybody could understand his simple essays. And most importantly it added to the legacy of an American, great-grandfather, and writer.