This past week, Andy Rooney died, shortly after leaving his desk at 60 Minutes. The world has lost something and I feel as though I’ve lost something. We’ve lost his wit and honesty, his sharp perception of the world around us. Rooney could cut through our conditioned blindness to a simple truth that hid in plain sight, and yet make us laugh at ourselves for not seeing it all along. We’d be blinded by the forest, and he’d point out the funny-looking trees.
I’ve been watching Andy Rooney ever since I could remember. His style, his insight and wit were inspirations to me, a milestone far ahead in my path as a writer that I hoped one day to reach. I’ve strived lately to recapture the perception of what is, rather than what we’re “trained” to see, the humor with which he unveiled the reality to us will stay with me. If I can ever, before I go, have that milestone in my sight, no matter how far ahead, I’ll be happy.
It struck me as uncanny how soon after leaving 60 Minutes Rooney left us. He wrote until the end, which I believe, from his farewell essay, was his dream. He was a truly blessed for being able to achieve that goal, he was truly remarkable for being able to make that happen.
Lately I haven’t been a devotee of 60 Minutes, but I was sure to catch Rooney’s farewell essay. He said he’d always be a writer. In my mind, he’ll always be writing, because he’ll always be a role model.