Venerable is defined as “accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character.”

That certainly personifies Bob Schieffer, who broadcasted his last “Face the Nation” on May 31. I once wrote a letter (that appeared in this newspaper) recalling a friend’s encounter with Jackie Kennedy. Someone likened it to “something Bob Schieffer would have written,” so I sent it to Schieffer. He sent back a handwritten note: “Buddy — I could not have written this any better!” Schieffer also had great taste in neckwear.

In his gracious farewell, he said, “I tried to remember that the news is not about the newscaster. It’s about the people who make it and those who are affected by it.” How very, very true about the state of “packaging” today’s news through superficial celebrity journalism (my term).

I write this quietly, having weaned myself off morning news “shows.” All of ’em. Giddy, innocuous banter — everyone talking at once. Relentless commercials.

The same can be true of too many columnists today writing from the same old predictable perch, dutifully dropping their spouse’s name, or celebrating their lucid lifestyle. This just in: “It ain’t that interesting …”

An equally venerable songwriter once so poignantly prophesied: “The times they are a changin’…”. And so “Face the Nation” begins a new era, welcoming John Nickerson and his neckwear. I’ll be tuning in.

A final note: I took my grandsons to see the new movie “San Andreas.” Today’s “special effects” are truly astonishing. I lived in California for 30 years, surviving several less stressful earthquakes. Exiting the theater, I mentioned to an older couple; “We’re a long way from Moses parting the Red Sea, eh?” Moses, man … now he was venerable.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner