From the Desk of Spencer Thornton, MD
Stay in the Game: Make a Difference
April 11, 2012
Andy was best known for his thirty three years of homespun commentaries on CBS 60 Minutes, but his career blossomed many years earlier. After several years in the army on the staff of Stars and Stripes, he entered television shortly after World War II, writing material for entertainers like Arthur Godfrey, Victor Borge, Herb Shriner, Sam Levenson and Garry Moore. Beginning in 1962, he had a six-year association with the CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner, who narrated a series of Everyman essays written by Mr. Rooney.
He rivals Yogi Berra (“It’s like deja vu all over again”, “We made too many wrong mistakes.” “You can observe a lot just by watching”, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore", with quotable quotes. Rooney has stated, “I don’t like any music I can’t hum”, “there are more beauty parlors than there are beauties,” and , “if dogs could talk, it would take the fun out of owning one.”
Another of my favorites who stayed in the game was Mike Wallace, who died recently at age 93. He was best known as an investigative reporter who interviewed the famous and controversial. He didn't just interview people. He interrogated them. He cross-examined them. He gave them nervous fits. Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing 60 Minutes interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens. He stayed in the game and continued to use his skills to make a difference.
I’m with Alan Alda, who told me recently that he wanted to live to be 106. If I can live with the energy and drive that Alan and other creative friends retain into their late senior years, I’ll stay in the game, and enjoy every moment of it. I’m convinced that good nutrition, including nutritional supplements and moderate exercise, will allow quality life beyond 100, and I hope my readers will join me.