Morton Kondracke

The political commentator talks about being saved from alcoholism, and trying to save his wife from the ravages of Parkinson's

Morton Kondracke is known as a no-nonsense, independent-thinking journalist who, in addition to writing, appears on shows like The McLaughlin Group and Fox's The Beltway Boys. But through his wife his life has been touched by Parkinson's, a disease that affects over a million Americans. Kondracke's book on the subject, Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson's Disease, is published by Ballantine and is now available in paperback.

You start your book at a point where you're totally focused on yourself.

I had dreams of glory. I thought maybe I should marry a Supreme Court Justice's granddaughter or something like that, and that this would be my companion up the ladder. I met this woman, Millicent Martinez, who is beautiful, olive skinned, self-assured, smart, and streetwise. But poor, working her way through college. I was smitten, but I thought, "This woman doesn't fit into my life's plan." We went skiing one time at a bunny slope near Chicago, and she crashed into me. I thought, I want a woman who is at home at Aspen. I don't want somebody who can't even negotiate a bunny slope. So I contrived a breakup with her.

We didn't see each other for four months, but one day, in late May, 1967, I went to the beach, and there I saw Milly with some boyfriend of hers. I sort of skulked around so she wouldn't see me. The next thing you know I was agreeing to take her to the movies. Then we're leaving her apartment and it's raining. We're under an umbrella and we're kissing under a street lamp. And I said, okay, God, I give up. This could never have happened but by God's design. This was meant to be.

This is a story of Milly's journey, but it's also a story of your journey.

Absolutely.

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The Dick Staub Interview
Dick Staub was host of a eponymous daily radio show on Seattle's KGNW and is the author of Too Christian, Too Pagan and The Culturally Savvy Christian. He currently runs The Kindlings, an effort to rekindle the creative, intellectual, and spiritual legacy of Christians in culture. His interviews appeared weekly on our site from 2002 to 2004.
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