My Thanksgiving List
Ben Stein
by

It’s Thanksgiving. Alex and I spent it down at our fun club in Rancho Mirage with our fellow senior citizens. The food was breathtakingly good. It was a hot and clear day. We old people ate our roast beef and our carrots and watched the other old people eat.

Afterwards, I took a long nap and then went to as 12 step meeting. As I sat there, I composed a short list of what I am grateful for:

* Every single law enforcement officer and his or her families. They keep us safe every day and there’s never enough thanks we can give to them.

* Every single firefighter and his or her families. Their work is incredibly dangerous and they do it without fear or sloppiness.

* Every man and women who fought in World War II and Korea and Vietnam and in the Middle East and their families. To go into combat knowing that highly skilled, well-motivated enemies with superb armaments are standing ready to kill you takes courage on a monumental scale. I think of my courageous grandfather, who fought in the Philippines, my unbelievably brave father-in-law, Colonel Dale Denman, Jr., who came home from Europe with a Silver Star and from Vietnam with a Bronze Star and a Distinguished Service Medal, my wife’s Uncle Bob who fought hand to hand against the Red Chinese at Cho-Sin without rations for three days, my dear pal Larry Lissitzyn, USMC, Lt., my classmate and hero John Keker, also USMC Lt., who fought in the jungles of Vietnam, my super hero Captain Norris from miraculous Blair High School, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for mind-boggling heroism behind enemy lines in Vietnam. I think of my pals Quinones and Saldiver, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now fight at home. These men and women and their families and millions like them are the real stars, not some athletes who sneer at the flag of the country that worships them. Or once did.

* Every teacher at a school with majority minority children who attack the teachers, hurt them, wreck their lives. A good teacher in today’s schools is a war fighter. I am grateful to them all. (I know they’re all Democrats.)

* My wife, the maximum utmost Christian on this planet. She has powers of forgiveness that are unbelievable. And I worship her. We’ve been together for 51 years and I have been very far from perfect for most of them. She’s a goddess. She always forgives. I know another goddess, my sister, who is not Alex, but she’s a fine, fine woman. Her husband is startlingly smart. Our pal Linda Alice Fairstein, ace writer and prosecutor, who has been a spectacular friend.

* My dearest friends, Phil DeMuth, Judah Friedman, the most talented man I have ever met, Jimmy Kimmel, Wlady P. and Bob Tyrrell, extraordinary colleagues, Robert Noah, David Scull, another Vietnam hero and my friend since 1953, Neil Cavuto and all of my pals at Fox, Marcia Hurwitz, the best agent in the world, Monique Mallory, who keeps me visible, Norman Lear, who is the most successful man in Hollywood, and was a genuine Army Air Force Hero in World War II, flying 50 missions when 25 was considered breathtaking… this list is getting very long… Julie and David Eisenhower, loyal to a fault, flying proudly through a lifetime of slander who are not fit to kiss their shoes

* Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob.

* The most impressive human being on the planet, Warren Buffett, who has been a kind and generous friend to me and my wife. He is as decent a man as there is on this earth and a friend indeed.

* Waking up in America, being born in America, having parents and grandparents who are American. This probably should have been number one.

* My parents, who made life much easier for me than it is for 99 % of Americans and without whom I would have been nothing. My whole road everywhere was paved royally by them.

* Al and Sally Burton, now behind the pink curtain but I still love them.

* Absent friends: the greatest President and friend of the Jews there has ever been, Richard M. Nixon; my mentor, DeAnne Barkley, inventor of the TV movie and a devoted patroness; Jim   Bellows, my long time editor, whom I adored as if he were a god, which he was.

* My friends at CBS Sunday Morning, who have been there.

This list is getting too long. I think I’ll go to sleep now.

* All sporting breeds, especially German short-haired pointers and Weimaraners.

* My son Thomas… who is on his way into the Age of Aquarius whether knows it or not.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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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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