By Ben Stein on 1.30.13 @ 6:09AM
Oxford on the Eastern Shore was another world.
I am still in DC. It is freezing cold here. I packed up my miserable rags and put them in my miserable suitcase and headed down to the splendid Watergate Lobby. As I left the elevator, I heard a woman singing in the most beautiful voice I have ever heard.
What was it? Kiri Te Kanawha on the radio? Maria Callas?
No. It was Tashea, our stunningly gorgeous desk clerk at the Watergate. She was putting mail in our mailboxes. As she did, she sang. But I mean she sang in perfect pitch and melody and with an emotional urgency I have never heard in person — and I have been to the Metropolitan Opera many times.
Not that it should matter, but Tashea is a young single mother of two-year-old twins. She is only 20 years old. She works sometimes 14 or 16 hours straight. She is always helpful, always well prepared for any problems that pop up at the Watergate.
This woman makes Adele (whom I adore) sound like a vacuum cleaner. I was simply awed. The doorman and I burst into applause and Tashea looked embarrassed. If this woman had the right connections, she would be as big a star as there could be.
Anyway, up to Philadelphia, where the parking rules are peculiar. There was no reservation for me at the Loews Hotel, but somehow we found it, and I went to my room, and then out for Starbucks tea. Then, back to my room to (yes!!!) watch Skyfall on LodgeNet. This was not even close to as good as seeing it in a theater, but still great. It gives such a deep insight into how inept government is that it would be a perfect recruiting tool for the GOP.
I was ecstatic and went to bed happy. Only I know it, but Skyfall is about me and my mother.
A speech to a great group from La Salle University. These people could not have been more pleasant, good looking, and intelligent. Just the perfect audience. I wish I could just have them travel around with me for a month. Brother Michael, head of the school, was a true gem.
Then, into the car with my driver and pal, Bob, to head down to the Eastern Sho’ for crabcakes. As we left the hotel we saw a long, tall woman in tight jeans and high heels swing past. Bob and I were speechless at the impression she made. I am sorry. I know this is not PC, but much of life is about beauty.
We drove to Oxford just as the sun was setting over the Bay. The weather had warmed up a great deal (thank you, Exxon-Mobil). I walked by myself down the old brick sidewalk to the Robert Morris Inn, past neat white clapboard houses with antiques and incandescent lights, no Bolshevik fluorescence. Contented-looking people sitting in their living rooms reading books. It was peaceful. The walk reminded me of walking home to Harvey Road in Silver Spring along Dale Drive in 1960. I love solitary walks in the dusk. How long ago that was. Walks after working until late on our school newspaper, “Silver Chips.” Long time passing. You could smell leaves burning those days. Another world.
At the Inn, I met up with Bob and we had spectacularly good cream of crab soup.
Then, back to Easton to have crabcakes at the Tidewater Inn. Heavenly.
I am so happy to be in happy, everyone gets along America instead of angry, everyone fights with everyone Egypt or Libya or Syria. Just grateful, grateful, grateful.
Now, I am home at the Watergate, about to go to sleep. I am a happy camper.
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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