It is hot. Too hot. I awakened feeling happy, though. Maybe because the conventions are over and I can go back to watching my TCM classic movies and my World War One documentaries. I also just finished watching the greatest western of all time, High Noon.
There is a movie about heroism. About manliness. That movie, starring the incomparable Gary Cooper, came out in 1952. It was the first and only movie my father ever took me to by myself, that is, just us two men. I was seven. I saw it on a double bill with the British movie, Breaking The Sound Barrier.
I was so happy to be at that movie with my father I didn’t even mind that they didn’t have popcorn at the theater. I think it was “The Playhouse” near 13th and K, maybe a block from McPherson Square. That was a giddy night. Fathers, spend time with your sons. It means a world to them, as far as I could tell.
We were up in Sandpoint for about ten days. Wlady was kind enough to post some pictures. It’s more beautiful than ever and the view from my living room — our living room — is more spectacular than ever. Early in the morning the lake looks like an immense iceberg, blue and gray and then alive with fire. Like fire on ice. I never tire of it.
Of course, we went up to Hills Resort on Priest Lake. That’s about a ninety-minute drive and every time I make that trip I swear it’s too long and I will never do it again, even if it is by the wide Pendoreille River and through the endless forests north of the town of Priest River.
But then I open the door to Hills and magic happens. I push open the doors and I am in 1956. It’s an episode of The Twilight Zone. The room is old fashioned, probably never remodeled, with knotty pine paneling and floor to ceiling windows. The diners are respectable, usually families, all looking as if they came from a Saturday Evening Post cover by Rockwell.
Outside the windows there are people playing paddle ball and farther towards the lake, volleyball. The waitresses and waiters smile and look happy and are happy. There is a cheery hub bub all about the room. My eyes go out to the marina and then to the boundless Priest Lake.
It all looks innocent. No protesters. No anger. No gathering storm of social rage. People are happy at Hills. It’s as close as I can come in a crowd to paradise. Again, if you are old enough, imagine leaving all of the tumult of the world since 1956 behind and entering the real America the way it’s supposed to be — Ozzie and Harriet and Ricky and David. There it all is.
There is no better restaurant or resort that I know of.
The food is glorious — spare ribs, onion soup, salads with huckleberry dressing. It’s really too much to be real. But it is real.
Where never is heard a discouraging word — that’s Hills at Luby Bay at Priest Lake. If you miss it, you’ll miss a good thing. It’s as good as the dining room at The Club at Morningside, and that’s saying plenty.
The ride back is too long, but I had my good friend Judah and my XM radio and my pal, Phil, so I was all set. When I got home, there was my wifey waiting for me, barely awake, but happy to see me. Never as happy as I am to see her, but damned happy.
Now that I think of it, when I push open the doors and am back at our condo with my wifey, it’s magic, too. There is no sunshine like her smile, no eyes that light up the room like her soft brown loving peepers. Heaven, I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can barely speak, when we’re saying our prayers each night cheek to cheek. Yes, we say our prayers each night cheek by cheek and then I say the Mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew just before I get under the covers with Julie.
Have I watched the conventions? Of course. But I also go out to dinner every night and lunch every day. Dinner in Sandpoint is usually at Ivano’s Del Lago. Maybe a forty-minute boat ride from my dock. Ivano’s Del Lago has a large deck facing the sunset sky over Lake Pendoreille. Again, fire on the water. Happy people. Happy food.
My happy Cobalt and Tim Farmin to make sure I don’t crash.
There is a pall over the town and over Ivano’s, though. Jim Lippi, owner and founder of Ivano’s in town and on the lake, passed away about two months ago. His was a big, warm, indispensable presence in a town of barely 7,000. He cannot be replaced. His wife, the lovely Pam, is suffering terribly, of course. This is the cruelty of happy marriages. Someone is left heart broken. But not forever. What is bound on earth is bound in heaven. At least I hope so. It is a different town without Jim, though.
I had many good meals at Trinity at the Edgewater Hotel on the lake. One great server after another. My favorites were two young volleyball players. If they knew how beautiful they were, they would not be as beguiling as they are.
But always back to Big Wifey, always, always, always.
The conventions: I don’t know what to make of Mr. Trump. I love the fact that he gives the back of his hand to the conventional media. I love that he stands up unequivocally for the cops and does not care at all about the Black Lives Matter thugs. I don’t like his monarchist tendencies, like having one member of his family after another on the stage as if they were all dukes and princes.
They’re not. They’re just people and maybe the dad will become President. But there was too much worship of the Trump family. Plus, he just has no plans at all for anything positive except to wreck free trade. Free trade is an immense plus for most Americans. We toss it away at our peril. And how on earth can he pay for a big increase in military spending — which we definitely need — without more taxes? I guess we’ll just keep printing money, like they do in Venezuela. The results are not great but that’s where we’re heading.
Who is advising Mr. Trump? We still don’t know, and that frightens me.
Still, Mr. Trump calls a spade a spade. He’s not afraid of the PC police. And, he loves the military and the cops, so those are huge plus points.
The plane flight back was a horror show. I had some wretched food poisoning on the leg from PDX to LAX and it was a complete nightmare. The worst I have ever felt in my whole life — and it was on a small plane. Horrible. A man’s intestines mean far more to him than his brains.
My flight attendant was a stunning young woman named Lisa Lynn. She took perfect care of me. She’s my new dream girl. Alaska Airlines, take note.
The Democrat convention? Another horror show. Black Lives Matter, which really translates as “Kill the White Man!” was bowed down unto. That was nauseating. These people are not interested in justice. They want attention and violence. Bad combination.
And what’s this? A Palestinian flag waving down in front? Did I see that right?
Mrs. Clinton’s speech was fine. I had not known about how difficult her mother’s life was. Abandoned by her parents. Living in Dickensian poverty. That insecurity and fear has to be passed on to Hillary. My heart broke for her when she talked about her mother.
But what about all of her grand plans for millions of green jobs? What is a green job? And where do the workers come from? We have a shortage of skilled labor already. And if the real problems are economic, why hasn’t Mr. Obama done something about them already?
Hearing Mrs. C. talk about all of the problems in the economy while her predecessor, a Democrat, stood by, puzzled me. He’s had seven and a half years, largely ruling by decree. Why hasn’t he done something? Is she running against Trump or Obama? And, again, besides 40 acres and a mule, what is to be done? Just ever more free stuff. But why should a factory worker pay for some pot smoking brat’s college tuition? That’s really buying Democrat votes with white working man votes.
Still, not a bad speech. But when her voice gets flat and furious and guttural, she scares me. She’s got all of that anger from whatever Bill did to her plus what her grandparents did to her mother. Lord bless her, but she’s carrying around a pantload of anger in that pantsuit. And not a word of apology for Benghazi and for accomplishing zero in the war against radical Islam.
The real peach was Bill Clinton. Smiling, grinning, there he is talking about the story book romance that started in the Yale Law School Library that I knew so well. And he’s talking about their long lives together. And he’s humiliated her the worst that any woman in public life has ever been humiliated. He has flayed her bare with stripes of leather in front of the whole world. And he’s talking about young love? Bill, get on your knees and beg forgiveness.
We do not have good choices this year. That’s the fact.
Anyway, I’m back now in Southern California and it’s too damned hot.
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