Ben Stein's Diary

Dallas Week

It ended perfectly in Little Rock.

By 4.23.12

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Tuesday
Dallas, Texas. What a day this has been. I flew into DFW with my gorgeous wifey. I slept the whole way, as I always do. At DFW, a car and driver took us to the nearby Gaylord Resort. It is an immense hotel. A convention of steel fabricators is taking place here and I am speaking to them. Two very polite young women checked us in and we went to our rooms and slept more.

Then, to answering e-mails. My favorites were from L., the 17-year-old daughter of a close friend, who is in Poland visiting death camps as part of a mostly Jewish project called "March of the Living." L's grandmother was a 16-year-old girl in a town outside Frankfurt when she was sent of to be a slave laborer at several different horror camps, culminating in five excruciating years at Auschwitz. She saw all of her friends die. When she was liberated, she went "home" to find that all of her family except her aunt were dead… murdered by the Nazis.

Now, her daughter's daughter is visiting these death camps as a proud, healthy, lovely U.S. citizen. God bless America.

The only funny part of the story is that two nights before she was at Auschwitz, L. was at the immense Coachella Rock Festival listening to rock music in the sun east of Indio. From Coachella to Auschwitz. Truly unbelievable.

Then an e-mail from one of the most beautiful women in the world. She has a project. She is going to make seltzer water at home with a machine that carbonates water. She is addicted to Pellegrino and she figures this will save her well over $100 per month. I cautioned her that Pellegrino has a uniquely delicious flavor and she might not get the same taste from her carbonated tap water. She was undeterred. "I am going to make money and help the environment at the same time," she said.

Both admirable goals, to be sure.

Then, taking my fiber while I watch the horrible selection available on TV in my hotel room. Grim. Do Americans really care that much about storage lockers and weight loss? I guess they do.

Wednesday
A speech to the steel fabricators. The event was on the exhibition hall floor where many entities were showing off their steel fabrication machines. The room was as noisy as can be, but the audience was great -- thoughtful, solid-looking men and women. Our sponsor is a maker of ultra-strong, durable, computer-driven steel-cutting machines by the name of Peddinghaus. Founded long ago in Germany, now based in Illinois. The owner and his extremely lovely wife were there and could not have been more pleasant.

After the speech, I talked for a long time with a man whose family had come from Serbia. He told me heart-rending stories of what his family had gone through under the Nazis and then under Tito. What brave people his ancestors were and are.

Then I lay in my bed and watched airplanes gliding in for landing at DFW. Much closer to my room, hawks soared on thermals. These were extremely large hawks. In fact, I have never seen such immense hawks.

Later, I went to a nighttime event at a nearby venue. The first entertainment was some dancing and cheering by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. I am bound to say that in my whole life, I have never seen more beautiful women. It is almost unbelievable that humans could be that beautiful.

After the cheerleaders, Dana Carvey came out and did the single funniest show I have ever seen. This man is whatever the next step is beyond genius. Impressions. Jokes. Singing. Guitar playing. The imitation that Carvey did of Al Gore was so funny. I thought I would choke from laughing.

The brilliance and energy of this man is supernatural.

Then, back to my room and a late supper with my wife and then to sleep.

Thursday
Up, dressed, and downstairs here at the Gaylord. My lucky fate this day is to moderate a panel composed of my old marching companion, Pat Buchanan, and "The Ragin' Cajun," James Carville. Again, it was on the exhibit floor and noisy as can be, but Pat and James were brilliant and lively and entertaining. I have a tough time making out what Carville is saying, but when I do "get it," he's often quite brilliant. I disagree with most of what he says, but he's passionate and likeable. Pat is also brilliant and although I find him wanting on a number of historical points, he's also passionate and likeable.

After, the event, off to bed to watch the hawks, and then room service from a witty Ukrainian woman named Oksana, then to DFW to fly to Little Rock. As usual, I slept the whole way.

We checked into our fine rooms at the Capital Hotel, then went for a late supper at the bar here. Who should we see but Judge Reinhold, Hollywood star and talented young guy, with his wife, who is so beautiful it should be illegal. The bar at this hotel is probably the friendliest spot on the globe. Every single man and woman in the room came over and visited with my wife and me. This is the way life should be lived.

I read in the papers about how civility is gone from modern life. Not at the world's best hotel, The Capital, not in Little Rock. This is paradise.

Friday
A dinner honoring my late war hero father in law, Dale Denman, Jr., his still very much alive brother, Bob Denman, also a major league war hero, and a young Marine named Landon Voigt. S/Sgt Voigt, USMC, two tours in Iraq, had received a stipend from the Denman Brothers Military Scholarship Fund at UALR. He and his wife, Christina, were charming and modest. So were all of the Denmans, especially my wife. Everyone at the restaurant, Dizzy's, was as friendly as could be. And so many great looking women… none as beautiful as my wife, but great looking. Sweet, down to earth, not angry, as far removed from the women of Beverly Hills as can be.

I love it here in Little Rock.

On TV, the men and women look insane. Here, they look sane. Big difference.

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About the Author

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.