The End of an Era | Andy Rooney

Sunday evenings, for as long as I can remember, have included the sound of a ticking clock.  Just like a favorite blanket, the smell of homemade cookies, or an old photo, this sound envokes a deep feeling of fond memories for me.

That ticking comes from the longest running news magazine on TV: 60 Minutes. My parents–both news nuts–religiously watch the show every week.  Obviously, when I was little the detailed reports often lead to an early bedtime (on the couch) for me, but I always hung around simply waiting until the last few minutes. Why? Because of this man:

Andy at his desk--how I envision him.

While most people describe Andy Rooney as an old “curmudgeon” of a man, I disagree.  I find his style of pointing out the frustrations in life quite comical.  Whether it was going through his kitchen drawers, only to find duplicates of useless items, or discussing news articles that instill fear of impending doom, Andy always had interesting pieces of information to share with his viewers.

Today, unfortunately, Mr. Rooney made his last (regular) appearance on 60 Minutes.  At the age of 92, he is one of the oldest people on TV, yet he still has lots of life to live and stories to tell. As he said tonight, “I’m not retiring, writers don’t retire, I’ll always be a writer.”

Many people in my generation simply do not have an appreciation for the quality news that came from Rooney’s generation.  Tonight, Morley Safer interviewed Andy, and while they had what seemed to be a casual conversation between old friends, Safer brought up the deep bond that Rooney and Walter Cronkite shared.  It was clear that Andy not only respected Cronkite’s impeccable reporting skills, but also their 60+ year friendship.

As an avid 60 minutes watcher (thanks Mom & Dad), I am sad to know that “…and now a few minutes with Andy Rooney” will not be uttered at the end of another 60 minutes episode, but I know that as a country we have not seen the last of Mr. Rooney.

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