Andy Rooney in memoriam
Andy Rooney, who died Nov. 4 at the age of 92, finally got the memorial he so richly deserved yesterday at the Rose Theater in Jazz at Lincoln Center. His son, Brian, and daughters, Ellen, Martha and Emily, spoke, as did his longtime pal at CBS, Judith Hole, recently retired, and his girlfiriend -- that's right, Andy had a girlfriend -- Beryl Pfizer, a pal dating all the way back to 1950, when they both worked for Arthur Godfrey.
It was a wonderful tribute and a moving one, and in a way this filled out the portrait that CBS aired the weekend of his death. Odd story about that tribute: It was a repeat of the same tribute that had aired after Rooney's retirement, without further embellishments. The family, in fact, had asked that no further tributes or garnishments be added to that one. So Rooney's on-air farewell was, so to speak, a repeat. Just as he would have wanted it, by the way. Rooney wanted no fuss. But he got one yesterday anyway.
The two-hour memorial was brilliant in how it quite literally reconstructed the man over that brief span of time, so that he was almost standing there on the stage, surrounded by all those others who were speaking. Time and looming deadline pressures now don't permit me to into much greater detail, but I should say that Steve Kroft hit on what I think was the most poignant point to be made about the man: He was part of a generation whose "voice is slowly going silent."
As Brian Rooney also noted, his memory -- that glorious memory filled with so many particulars of a century past -- is lost forever.
CBS aired this last night on "Evening News." If you watch anything on this blog today, please watch this: