Cleaning Up After The Holidays

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Looks Back At Items Saved In His Closet

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.
Christmas and New Year both came on Thursday this year, so there was a lot of dead time. No one did much on Wednesday or Friday either week -- then we had two weekends.

I spent some of the time cleaning out a closet.

Sometimes throwing things away is more satisfying than buying them in the first place. I threw out a lot -- and these are some of the things I had left over. I've been given some plaques over the years. I don't hang them; I put them in the closet.

I like this American flag pillow somebody gave me, but I keep that in the closet. The design of our flag is a work of genius, but I don't like using it as decoration. I don't wear one in my buttonhole and I don't sleep on that.

These are bookends given to me by one of the best men who ever worked in television news, Fred Friendly. Gone now. I don't like the monkeys, but I loved Fred and would never throw them away.

People send me hats all the time. Someone knitted my name into this one. Good job she did, but I don't wear the American flag in my buttonhole and I don't wear clothing with my name on it.

An abacus. I have no idea how to use this. If I need help counting, I use my fingers.

This is a nice piece of glass. A pipe holder. It's hard to believe I once smoked a pipe.

This is one of my treasures. The license plate I got for my car when I covered Richard Nixon's inauguration in 1969. This allowed me to park illegally anywhere in Washington.

These are cushions I got at Super Bowl games. This was Super Bowl #27 in Pasadena in 1993.

Now, this is hard to explain. Everything bought in Tiffany's comes in a blue box. Don't ask me why I kept an empty box, because I no longer remember what came in it. It must have been very expensive, though.

Every few years, I decide to learn French by listening to tapes while I'm driving to work. It hasn't worked yet.

I suppose some of you watching don't recognize what this is. It's what we used to listen to music on before CDs. This was a Duke Ellington record. CDs may produce better sound but Duke Ellington produced better music.

This is something very important. I haven't any idea what it is, but I don't dare throw it away in case I ever need it.

Now, I'm going to take all this junk home and put it back in the closet until Christmas and New Year come on Thursday again.

Written By Andy Rooney