This installment of “Ben Stein’s Diary” appeared in the June issue of The American Spectator. To subscribe, please click here.p> SATURDAY br> HERE I AM AT MY NEW HOME at Morningside Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. Rancho Mirage is two towns east of Palm Springs in the desert about 110 miles east of Beverly Hills. /p>
I have been wanting a house in the desert for a while now. I had one about 20 years ago but we never used it so I sold it. Anyway, it was not what I wanted. My idea was a house with a pool that lit up at night, palm trees all around the pool, a jacuzzi to sit in and watch the stars, and then stretching in front of it, a perfectly manicured golf course.
I looked for about two years, while the prices went up and up. I never really saw exactly what I wanted until just after New Year’s or maybe just before New Year’s, when I was visiting my pal, Peggy Morse, in the desert.
My two real estate brokers, Pat Bush Kruse and Alice Beckman Cannon, found me Morningside Country Club, a perfect little oasis of lovely modern homes with big windows facing the golf course, and after looking at maybe ten houses, I walked into this one, and it was love at first sight. Love, love, love.
The house has an immense living room, a huge breakfast room, well, I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say it was my dream house. It was way more than I can afford, but by insane overspending by me, I bought it, and I love it.
I have a fireplace in my bedroom and I turn it on and also open the windows and feel the breeze blowing in from the pool and the golf course. Then I go sit in my jacuzzi and watch the stars, then swim for a long, long time in my pool, while I stare at the stars. Then I take a long shower and then I lie in bed with my dogs and my wife and feel blessed.
This night, though, my wife is in the east visiting our son, so I am here just with my dogs. My pals Barron and Steve, world’s kindest and smartest humans, are visiting Palm Springs from Scottsdale, and have come to see me. I have a big thing in L.A. tomorrow and also it is the night of a big end of season fiesta in the Morningside Country Club clubhouse. So, Barron and Steve and I are going to the clubhouse and having a lavish dinner.
This clubhouse has to be seen to be believed. It is like a castle of light and greenery and glass perched above a lake and the golf course, with the Santa Rosa Mountains in the distance. Tonight, the food is superbly good and I am listening to a pianist playing old favorites by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as I eat my fish. (I eat a huge amount of fish, but then I eat a huge amount of everything when I am at the club here because it all tastes so damned good.)
At the table next to ours there are about 12 teenage girls visiting their well-heeled grandparents. They are all pretty, they are all giggling, and they all want their photos taken with me. I LOVE IT.
Plus the maitre d’ is endlessly asking if he can get me anything and the food comes out really, really fast. So, it’s great.
The club manager, Matt Gebel, former Navy F-14 pilot and superstar, endlessly comes over to me and asks what they can do to make me happy. “After all,” he says, “it’s your club.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?