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The Secret I Learned After My Few Minutes with Andy Rooney

October 2, 2011

The Nomination

Andy Rooney is the reason that my mother watches “60 Minutes.” She quotes him frequently.

So she was proud when I was nominated for an Emmy award, that put me along with producer Janet Shalestik, in direct competition with him.
I bought my dress, sale medieval wench and shoes, sale Manolos and I was good to go.
The Ceremony
Ready, but not expectant. Are you kidding me? I did to expect to win. I was just thrilled to be in the room. The room was a ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria in New York city. The event was the Emmy awards for news, not to be confused with the prime time Emmys. At that awards show  starlets in sequins are on display. At the news Emmys you are likely to find a governor or presidential candidate in the audience. There was at least one of each that night.
The other competitors in the category included Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel. They were not in the room. Andy Rooney was.
The Meeting
Before the awards ceremony took place, Janet and I introduced ourselves to him and his wife, Margie. I could have cowered, fearing him to be a curmudgeon. Lucky for me, I did not. We told him, with pride, that we were competing in the same category.
Then, of course I asked for a photo with him so I could commemorate what stands, to this day, as a very memorable night in my life.
He could not have been more kind.
The Loss
Then came the time for the ceremony. No, Janet and I did not win. I had not prepared an acceptance speech, so it was just as well.
As we winded our way out of the ballroom we ran into Andy Rooney once again. Even though the ballroom was filled with hundreds of people that night, he remembered us.
The Secret
That’s when I learned a secret about Andy Rooney.
“I was thinking of you guys when they announced that award and I was hoping that you would win.”
“Wow,” I thought. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with such a generous spirit in all my years in broadcast news. In fact I had colleagues who were less supportive of the award than the celebrated commentator.
His remark made my mother love him even more.
I think he recognized just how much the award would have meant to us–the least known of the nominees. That night, with just a few words,  Andy Rooney  uncovered a secret. Under that gruff and erudite  exterior, he’s gracious man.  I’m going to miss him.
His last regular appearance on “60 Minutes” is tonight.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    October 2, 2011 4:43 pm

    Andy Rooney remembered you , because You are unforgetable !!! And Beautiful!!..=)

    • lenanozizwe permalink*
      October 2, 2011 5:29 pm

      You are too kind! Thanks.

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