It included a stop in a high desert town called Calimesa — where it can snow.
A stunning, disastrous day.
I was sitting at my computer in my office in Beverly Hills looking out at the palm trees waiting for a conference call from some nice people, and then the thought occurred to me to call my pal K. There is hardly anyone on this planet who has been more kind and helpful to me than K. Al and Sally Burton are in the same plane, and so is Phil, and my sister and of course, my wife, but K. really changed my life in a huge way out here.
I called him in Arizona, where he has been sitting by the sickbed of his wife, also named K. His wife has been in the ICU for three weeks (or had been). She was sick unto death (as it turned out) from four-plus decades of alcoholic behavior, severe drug abuse, lack of nutrition, lack of sleep. She had collapsed and been taken to a hospital. For the first 10 days or so, she was on a ventilator. That is a machine that breathes for you, and it is only used when the patient is extremely ill.
She had gotten off that and seemed to be recovering, but then she stopped eating and K., the husband, was sitting by her bed holding her hand and praying with her.
So, I called him on his cell. He sounded ominously sad.
“What’s happened?” I asked him. “Why do you sound like this?”
“K. passed away last night,” he said. “Her body just gave out. She’s gone.”
Then we both began to cry, and although the call went on for almost an hour (I had to join the conference call late), it all seems like a blur now.
K., the deceased wife, is the third close friend I have had “die on me,” as the horrible phrase goes, from drugs and alcohol. I hate it. I hate drugs and alcohol.
I first met K., or “Konnie” as we called her, in 1976 when I met her husband. I met him through my pal Steve Greene, who had an enormous positive influence on my life in every possible way. At the time, the husband was a major “macher” in Hollywood. He knew everyone and could Get Things Done. He had come out of nowhere and was so successful in his work that he literally had plays written about him. Famous, well-known plays.
Konnie was a well-to-do Hollywood wife. She had the perfect hair, the perfect car, the perfect home, furniture, appliances — perfect Hollywood.
But I don’t think that says who she is. She was a genuine person. She was not a West Side leftist phony. She cooked for Jewish holidays. She cared for her son and her dogs on a deep level. She was witty and always had a joke. She remembered all birthdays with marvelous, artistic, handmade cards.
Alex and I spent so many New Year’s Eves, Thanksgivings, Christmases, Passovers, with K. and K. that it was a custom. The food was always great and K. was a wizard of a hostess.
There were just a few little problems.
Konnie was often in a bad mood, and so she took powerful psychoactive meds. She did not feel quite right from them, so she took powerful alcohol. That didn’t fully work, so she took every other drug under the sun, and soon she was a full-blown drug abuser. And that went on for decades.
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?