Here, as the decade ends, is my list of what I am most grateful for, in my own words. Think of it as a sabbatical from complaining.
1.) That I am married to the world’s most wonderful woman, a genuine saint of beauty, kindness, intelligence, and forgiveness. That I have the world’s handsomest young man, Tommy Stein, as my son.
2.) That I was born in the United States of America in 1944, when my fellow Jews were being starved to death, gassed to death, buried alive, by the Nazis and their many friends and my parents’ main concern would be whether my father returned safely from his staff job at the Office of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. and whether my mother would be able to buy bananas at the nearest Kosher grocery store, Posin’s.
3.) That I have gotten to live almost every day of my life in the USA, the most plentiful, freest, safest country in the world for us middle-class Jews. As my father used to say to me, “America is not just the best place ever for Jews to live. It’s the best place for every ethnicity of Americans to ever live.”
4.) That I have a brilliant, witty, charming sister who calls me almost every day to check on my mental and physical well-being. She usually also throws in some theater and movie and restaurant reviews and passes on brainy words from my super hard-working corporate lawyer, Melvin. In one phrase, he explained to me what law school was all about and set me up for a life of understanding the law as taught (correctly) at Yale Law School.
5.) Magnificent friends like Judah Friedman and Phil DeMuth and David Scull and Aram Bakshian and John Coyne (White House colleagues) and Julie and David Eisenhower and Marcia Hurwitz (commercial agent) and Claude Dauman and Monique Mallory, my publicist, too many others to mention.
6.) A warrior class who take it upon themselves to take up arms and risk their lives for us slobs back in the homeland. They keep us alive and free, which are no small things.
7.) America’s farmers and ranchers, who provide an endless cornucopia of food and drink to keep us satisfied.
8.) My doctors, some of whom are far better than others but who have done well in keeping me in halfway decent health for a very long time.
9.) My houses, every one of which I love, especially my house in Rancho Mirage, which is a genuine showplace. I can’t afford it any longer but it’s been nice to have it. A roof over your head is not a small thing at all. A beautiful, sunny, clerestory window above my bed with a fireplace above that is even better.
10.) The American Spectator, for which I have been writing for something like 45 years. They provide me with an outlet for my writing and it’s a great outlet, with readers who actually read and pay attention. The editors, Wlady and Bob, have become the closest of friends and I owe them my continued subsistence as a writer. I could not live without The American Spectator. I hope they know it as well as I do.
Happy New Year!