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Traveling In Style

October 18, 1987|JERRY HULSE

Andy Rooney, the wit of CBS' "60 Minutes," was vacationing in the Helderberg Mountains near Albany, N.Y., when I tracked him down to do an article for this issue of Traveling in Style.

During our telephone conversation he explained how he'd switched roles temporarily and was laboring as a woodworker.

"On your vacation?" I asked.

He snickered, "Of course. I get my kicks out of messing around with tools. I'm not a great woodworker but I'm not bad either."

"What else do you do on your vacation, besides working with wood?" I asked.

Rooney paused. "Oh, sometimes I go to the dump. I love going to the dump. Sometimes I dump stuff. Other times I pick stuff up. It's exciting. Something like being on a treasure hunt. You never know what you'll find."

"But you do travel?"

Rooney sighed. "Well, to tell the truth I'm not much of a tourist. I've seen a cathedral. I've seen a museum, I'd rather stay home and make a chest or maybe a table or a chair. Besides, I've been to most places on my job. I've been to Europe a lot. When I travel, I like to go back to places where I've already been. Places that are familiar. I'm not much of a 'taster'. I want to visit places I know."

Rooney confesses he doesn't enjoy a vacation as such.

"I never could figure out how someone could just lie around in a hammock all day or just sit and stare at the ocean. I'd go nuts. I'd rather work with wood. Walnut. Cherry. Maple."

Generously, Rooney gives away his creations. Walter Cronkite owns a Rooney original. And who knows, one day one of his chairs or tables or footstools may grace a corner of the Smithsonian.

Meanwhile, Rooney's wit graces this issue of Traveling in Style in a tale having to do with renting a car (hm-mmm) while traveling.

We feature other celebrity authors in this magazine. Humorist Art Buchwald describes a record-breaking tour of the Louvre in Paris, and we join novelist Joseph Wambaugh on a sentimental journey to the home of a charming old gentleman in Ireland.

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