This is the time of year that everyone reflects on what has happened in the last twelve months. If you are interested in fashion, you check out the best and worst dressed lists. The political minded will think about Cain and Gingrich, Bin Laden and Kim Jong Il. The movie lovers may remember Moneyball and Twilight. Then, people like me, think about Mr. Andy Rooney.
I'm sure some television program will list all the famous people we lost this year, and when his name comes up a lot of people, especially the younger crowd, will say, "Who was that?" But for me, he was an old friend. I never met the man, but I knew him well. I got to know him over the years a few minutes at a time. I watched him on 60 Minutes when I was too young to understand or care about the news. But I could relate to the things he would talk about, even at that young age. I began reading his books when I was nine, and I have never stopped.
He was an influence on me. He was a writer, and sometimes as I read over my work, it is very obvious who inspired it. He influenced me as a person as well. He was such a regular guy. He may have been on TV, but he was not a celebrity. He had a normal life, with the same problems and idiosyncrasies that we regular people have. I shared his beliefs, most importantly his desire to just be a good person.
Thinking back on this year, there have been some very significant happenings. Some of them impacted the world. Some of them inspired gossip. But the thing that has impacted me the most was the loss of my good friend.