The journalistic world just lost an icon with the passing of Andy Aitken Rooney on November 4th 2011 at the age of 92. There will be many news stories about Andy revealing the mark he made on journalism over the years. There is no question he was Mr. 60 Minutes and no episode was ever complete without his witticisms filled with sardonic flare. Yet he delivered a poignant message filled with insights that exposed a true journalist who possessed a love of his country. Andy was a true American, an almost extinct species in this day and age, and he will be sorely lost.
I never met Andy but I did have a chance encounter with him in the valet parking garage of an exclusive Hollywood eatery one fine day. He was in a ruffled suit and carrying a tattered briefcase when we bumped into each other. In true Andy Rooney style he scowled at me for the intrusion into his space and when I apologized he only grunted with disdain. When I realized who he was I was not angered by his obvious démangeaison at my fortuitous imposition. On the contrary I felt honored that his goaded demeanor was addressed exclusively to me. His noticeably annoyed disposition was mine alone and I shared a moment in time with one of the greatest journalist/humorists of all time.
In the literary and journalistic world I’ve held two writers in the highest esteem; Charles Bukowski and Andy Rooney. I embraced their style in my literary pursuits over the years for they were my teachers in some way though we’ve never met. I’ve given my commiserations at Charles Bukowski’s passing and now I must say farewell to Andy Rooney, the last of my hero’s in the world of journalism.
Good Bye Andy…
Your Devil’s Advocate