The dress was, obviously, white and gold.  Except to those equally certain it was, obviously, blue and black.

I was reminded of that recent online meme as we fielded a few questions about our June issue, which featured on our cover one of the finest professional musicians in the area, Steve Gritman, fiddling up a storm in the SW Lake County countryside. We’d had a great afternoon looking for interesting photo locations, and were pleased to find a starkly dramatic slice of pasture backlit by a bright sun. Steve played a favorite Charlie Daniels tune, and I kept the camera clicking. As fast as he fiddled, I needed my camera’s fastest shutter speed to keep his bow from disappearing in a blur.

Later when I examined the photo, I was pleased at the framing against the gnarled tree’s stark backdrop, and catching the sun’s rays through its branches, with a light trail of lens flare leading from the sun down to Steve’s violin. I rejoiced, thinking the pretty striking image and its location gave the phrase “country music” a literal twist. The team here agreed it would make a fine cover photo for our first-ever Guy’s Issue.

As the issue hit the streets, we heard from many who commented favorably on the issue and its cover.

And then: there were a few who glanced at that handsome strapping gent standing in a field and told us sure as shootin’ that he might be huntin’.  One commenter said it looks like “a guy on the cover is about to kill something.”  (I can testify the only thing Steve killed was a ripping version of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”)

It was an interesting illustration on how hard it is to see something clearly when it’s in an unexpected context. The mind’s eye sometimes fills in what it expects to see rather than what’s really there.

Thanks to all who commented favorably or otherwise – we appreciate your input. It’s your honest feedback that gives us a chance to continually improve.

Speaking of improvements – the weather. This issue’s sunny summer theme includes a great road trip, summer fashion, favorite al fresco dining spots, vacation destinations, how to get your home in tip-top shape for summer, and more.  

Now, I need to return that phone call from Yanny… or was it Laurel?

See you Around Town,

Stephen Neilson


ON THE COVER: Zoe LoBue enjoying a delicious ice cream treat from Covered Bridge Creamery in Long Grove.