Sunday, November 06, 2011

My favorite curmudgeon

Sunday nights will never be the same.

Andy Rooney, America's favorite curmudgeon, whose commentaries provided the perfect period for the final moments of "60 Minutes," died Friday night. He was 92.

Barely retired a month (although he said, and I concur, that a writer never retires), Rooney passed away from complications following surgery. He will be missed.

Rooney got his start during World War II, as a reporter for the daily Stars and Stripes newspaper. He said later that being in the war, first as a reluctant soldier, altered his thinking about its necessity. "I saw the Germans," he said, "and I changed my mind."

He came to fame in the final installment on "60 Minutes," complaining about everything from women's hats to flights of stairs. ("They don't take flight.")

But he could also be serious, offering a touching tribute to D-Day, raging against the senseless 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City ("I could kill the bastards!"), mocking the lyrics to Michael Jackson's "Bad."

He said, though, that of all the things about which he could complain, he could never grumble about his life. It was filled with a loving wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Not to mention a career to remember, punctuated by those perfect periods at the end of "60 Minutes" on Sunday nights.

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