I like fiction, so I’m usually reading a novel. I try to read at least 20 to 30 pages a day on whatever novel I’m on. Then I’ll reread some short stories I like. These short stories are usually by Amy Hempel, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Richard Yates and Ann Beattie. Lately, I’ve added another writer to that mix. Andy Rooney.
No, Andy isn’t a short story writer. He was an essayist and a damn good one. He wrote a syndicated column for a lot of years and I’ve told anybody who would listen that while I think Andy was always good on “60 Minutes,” I always enjoyed his columns more. I liked reading him more than watching him.
Over the years, I’ve purchased some of his books and also over the years I’ve lost some of them. I’ve lost them mostly by loaning them to people. I’m not going to call these people friends because friends would actually return the books.
A few years back, I was looking to purchase another book by Andy and I went to Amazon.com. I found “The Most of Andy Rooney.” It’s actually three of his books in one—“A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” “And More by Andy Rooney,” and “Pieces of My Mind.” It was a used book and it was being sold for one cent.
Well, not really. Shipping and handling made it close to four bucks but it was still a bargain, so I purchased it.
I got the book, put it on a shelf and then sort of forgot about it. Last month I rediscovered the book and started reading random essays from it. I’m doing that two or three times a week now. These essays are mostly from his column and I remember reading a lot of them in the paper.
The Cincinnati Post always ran his column. When that paper went out of business, The Cincinnati Enquirer didn’t pick it up.
I don’t like the Enquirer for several reasons. Not picking up Andy’s column is one of them.
(Image from Amazon.com)