Eisenhower and Me

Last month, our inaugural edition debuted a day early, on the 5th, and by the next day, by request, was on its way to France. I remain proud of our accomplishment, but to be honest, felt more like Eisenhower, on another sixth of June, 69 years ago. The paper was a success, sure, but would it be a hit? Would we, in other words, secure a beachhead of anticipation for the next issue?

I am facing similar anxiety this month. This month, for the first time in my life, I shall be Father of the Bride. I shave in the morning, when I bother to, and must confess a lack of confidence in the character regarding me across the glass.

Why, for instance, is he looking askance at me? Eisenhower, indeed! “What’s more like invasion planning than planning a wedding?” I justify my pretension in no small dudgeon. The answer, of course, comes rapidly back at me: “Try sorting a destination wedding.”

So we’ll be in Hawaii while you read this. Relaxing, right? Not in the middle of a destination wedding, which begins with packing and doesn’t actually end until you’ve packed the happy couple on their way. This will be a ten-day spree. And in organizing this adventure, the details have been endless, needlessly Byzantine, and evolving when thought to be set. This says nothing of the dress, more than a year in the making – literally – and comprising enough white material to propel a tall ship.

Now that I think about it, that might just be the best way to transport it. Here’s what all parents say: “It wasn’t like that back in my day.” Well, it wasn’t. And I should know. I’ve planned a destination wedding before.

Here’s where we cue a famous McCartney bass line. My wife and I were married in Gibraltar near Spain. I planned everything, this surprise, and we eloped in style. What this boiled down to was a three-day residency requirement, a lovely pre-honeymoon at the Rock Hotel, during which we had only to explore and have our papers drawn up. When it came time for the ceremony, the concierge acted as our witness. A jaunty taxi ride to Algeciras, where we rented a car for the drive to Seville – and, presto! Who said it ain’t easy?

I’d sure like to harness some of that simplicity right about now. But what I do have is far better – an efficient factotum of a wife. I may have found the North Shore resort we are shortly to invade, but it is she who has patiently shouldered the myriad responsibilities – and phone tennis – that has been this experience so far.

And what of the paper? The learning curve has been steep, and from its top we have jumped through some narrow hoops. We are, you might say, like airborne paratroopers – each issue is its own unique mission, and we only land when the paper hits the streets. It’s a leap of faith every time. Yet as Eisenhower had good people around him, so do I. In addition to a crack writing staff, the voice of The Voice, I have the judicious photographic eye of Jordon Dean. I also have two new friends in Steve Pastis and Tony Maldonado. We are as three men in a foxhole. Without them, this paper simply could not be accomplished.

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