So often in this global backdrop of the COVID pandemic, it is the little things witnessed in near isolation counting for so much. I’m currently maneuvering through most of my ed-in-chief tasks at my home scribe center backed by a wall of blues albums and a cheap copy of a Fender Precision Bass. My main inspiration in my front view is a giant Smith water heater and a Burnham home gas heater. But I’m certainly not starving for Opti-Inspiration:

I’m on a call with Gerard Santinelli, and he picks up on my fascination for anti-fog solutions in this combo time of glasses and masks. Two days later, a pack of Sios (Santinelli International Optical Supplies) No Fog Cloth packets arrive. These jump into successful action in my growing arsenal of seeing clearly, supplementing the Cat Crap paste already urged on me by my master optician Barry Santini.

For many years, Mark Mattison-Shupnick was the 20/20 school master, so to speak, of our extensive Continuing Education agenda before moving on to a new career with EnChroma. So out of nowhere the other day, a package comes from Mark with a “wardrobe” of four EnChroma Lx Series lens setups addressing a variety of vision challenges. All of the try-ons provide glare protection, Blue Light blocking, complete UV protection, anti-reflective coatings, and all are Rx compatible. I’m already addicted to the solutions provided by the coded Lx1 and Lx2. And with night driving being my biggest age-related challenge, I cannot thank Mark enough especially for the Lx1s. But here’s the kicker: Along with the demo kit, Mark included a diagram from the mid-1950s showing me exactly how to rethread an American Flyer toy train crane car! Does this friend know me well or not?! You can bet YES.

And my last small but intensely personal accolade here goes to the three women I work with… Christine Yeh, Victoria Garcia and Jillian Urcelay. As I’ve likely reported, these last few months have temporarily removed me from the magic formula of 20/20 photo shoots. I’m feeling as healthy as ever but my Type 1 diabetes excludes me on the grounds of being a high risk during this onslaught of COVID-19. But in the ever capable and creative command of Jillian, Victoria and Christine, these shoots have delivered the exact blend of romancing, energEYEzing and trend setting that have always been a main focus at 20/20. If you want proof, just check out our stunning partnership women’s eyewear feature, our EyeOpener and our cover with a tip of my friendly hat as well to photographer Neil Francis Dawson and his wife, stylist Lisa Nguyen.

Consider this my small pre-Thanksgiving of giving thanks here at 20/20. And… Happy Thanksgiving!

James J. Spina
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