Ben Stein's Diary

On the Town

In ever friendly Sandpoint, a world away from Cairo and the Beautiful Obama.

By 7.9.13

Send to Kindle

Monday--Sandpoint, Idaho
A glorious day. I slept late, then went out on my boat with my fabulous boatman, Tim Farmin, to meet some charming local high achievers for a lunch in aid of a charity. The wind was dry and temperate. The clouds scudded across the sky as we ate at Bottle Bay and talked about the future of Sandpoint.

My friends did not have a boat so I drove them back to town on my boat. The wind had picked up and the waves were choppy, but the Cobalt went through them effortlessly. Someone there at the Cobalt factory knows what he or she’s doing. Science.

Then a bike ride around the beach. Smiling people, lovely girls giggling and talking on cell phones. One woman sidled up to me, asked me to hold her baby while she took a photo of me and the baby, then asked me, “How long do you think you’ll be able to ride a bike?”

There is a short answer to that but it’s not suitable for TAS. I think she was angry at me because I told her that her baby was heavy and she was extremely large. (I didn’t tell her that part about her.) Well, who cares?

I ran into several cast members from the local production of The Wizard of Oz. I had seen it and loved it on Friday night. Highly professional and engaging. It’s amazing to think that it comes from unpaid people in a town of roughly 7,000.

The girl (yes, “girl”) who played Dorothy, played her perfectly, never missed a beat or a step, looked divine -- well, her name is Sara Kirby and she is 14!!!! She memorized all her lines, all her songs, all her steps, sang with authority and passion -- and she is 14!!! She will be heard from. Sadly, she is moving away from Sandpoint. But she will be a star if she wants to be.

I told all of the cast members and musicians (one of whom is my druggist) how great they were and they were happy. They should be. They did heroic work.

Then, off to my favorite store on this earth, Sandpoint Super Drug, to pick up a few sundries. I spoke to a salesgirl named A. She is a student and has some extremely witty lines. I think I’ll test her on who the Presidents were since JFK. No, why bother? Why try to make her feel bad. She’s a great kid. She never tried to make me feel bad.

Then to Starbucks for lemonade and breakfast rolls for my wife. The girls at Starbucks are all fast, capable, charming. Howard Schultz should make this his model store.

I just love going from place to place and sopping up the small town friendliness. I have always loved just schlepping around meeting people, but it’s better in Sandpoint than anywhere else. Why? The people here are so incredibly friendly. It’s that simple. We humans like to deal with friendly people. We men like to flirt with attractive women. At least I do. I am a grandfather figure to them. Fine. I’ll take it and run. To me, the real question is why there are so many beautiful young women here. Is it an ethnic thing? A weight thing?

I talked to two stunning young women on skateboards in the Safeway parking lot. They offered to help me with my groceries. One of them is about to go work in the oil fields in North Dakota. My pal, Alex Feierabend, son of my dear departed Peter Feierabend, is already working in a Dakota shale boomtown. The girl leaving Idaho for the shale work is so sweet I would bet she’ll be married in about one week if she wants to be. She asked me if I were sure I could carry my groceries. Yes, for today.

Then, off to Priest Lake for dinner at Hill’s Resort. The highways are deserted. The views of rivers and gorges are breathtaking and there is no one there looking. Why?

All of the way there, we heard about the crisis in Egypt. I kept thinking, “Is there any part of Mr Obama’s plans and programs that has succeeded? Anything at all?”

Obamacare has simply fallen off the rails. Congress passed a bill that literally no one understood. Naturally, there cannot be a meaningful structure based on a bill no one understands. So, that was an illusion, just a fantasy.

Mr. Obama’s backing of “Arab Spring” has not turned out well. From Tunisia to Syria, there is chaos.

He has accomplished zero to “reset” relations with Russia, and they sneer at us. China hacks us and steals from us, and Obama does nothing.

His accomplishments in “fixing” education are literally zero.

The economy is recovering but no one, literally no one except Democratic politicians, thinks the recovery is in any way linked to Mr. Obama’s programs. Business made it happen -- not bureaucracy.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “over” but we didn’t win them. Mr. Obama wants unilateral nuclear disarmament, which makes us set for annihilation or slavery under whatever nations are smart enough not to disarm. This is actual lunacy.

 “He’s the biggest celebrity in the world,” said a McCain attack ad against Mr. Obama in 2008. “But is he ready to lead?”

Lead cheers? Yes. Sing lines to Al Green songs, yes. Lead to any meaningful accomplishments? Absolutely not.

Up here in Idaho, far, far from The Beautiful People, we “get it.” But what do we matter? There is not one store in this county that even sells the New York Times. We might as well be on Mars. Now, that I think of it, so might Mr. Obama. Well, the trains are roaring by and I can see a billion stars and I have just had a fine dinner at Hill’s Resort. I will let someone else think about Mr. Obama tonight.

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
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.