The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 15, 2012

Rooney-style reflections

Who does not remember the famous Andy Rooney commentaries at the end of CBS' 60 Minutes that always began with "Did you ever wonder why…"?

I met Mr. Rooney at a party for his granddaughter in Washington, D.C. about eight years ago. She graduated from George Washington University with our oldest daughter and they were roommates. Rooney was a WWII correspondent and prolific author. I had read a number of his books. What a surprise it was to see Mr. Rooney sitting in a lawn chair quietly chatting with a relative when we arrived at the party in a D.C. suburb. He was quiet and diminutive in size with a white shock of hair and slightly bowed from age. He reminded me of a benign elf. We were introduced and I told Andy my story of our recent trip back from California and our stopover in Chicago where our flight was delayed for a mechanical problem. As my wife and I sat by the large glass window in the waiting area, we watched a mechanic remove a faulty pilot's chair from our plane. I remarked to Andy that I said to my wife at the time if the mechanic came back with a lawn chair replacement we were going to take a different flight. I am not lying when I say I made Andy Rooney chuckle slightly.

Remembering Andy stimulated me to also think of some things that might have moved him to comment on his Sunday night visits.

Let's start with the automobile designers. Did you ever wonder why the dials on a car's dashboard are moved around each year? Is it to justify the exorbitant prices of automobiles?

I propose that the dials on the cars and home appliances of auto designers be secretly changed every month and let them hunt around in frustration.

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