I’ve been thinking about this column in a thought-drone since the night Hurricane Sandy started stomping the Northeast.

This December issue had been precisely planned but far from processed. Copy was mostly in but unedited. The intended photo feature was tricky with ambitions to roam New York’s metro area photographing artists in men’s eyewear. Eyewear product wasn’t in yet. Transportation tangles and the physical location of 20/20’s offices in lower Manhattan denied us the vital resource of the team congregating in person to deal with details.

BUT… 20/20 stayed viable as media via Facebook, Twitter and 2020mag.com and a constant retuning of plans and preparations focused on the task of not backing down from initial intentions. This December 20/20 is a terrific case for determination but the devastation incurred in the wake of the hurricane and the follow-up smack of a nasty nor’easter puts so much in perspective. And in 20/20’s role as communicators and commentators of the optical community, perhaps it is time to step back and breath in the glowing reality of how precious, yet fragile life truly is.

So many recovery and relief efforts are ongoing specific to the optical community. Space doesn’t quite allow full details so please allow for some small but grateful shout-outs.

In a call to me (during the process of some heavy damage cleanup) Eyetique’s Brad Childs (who pens a column in 20/20 Expo issues) assessed my stress and immediately jumped into action via the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team. Brad flew PAART’s small plane loaded with supplies to some of the hardest hit areas. Concurrently, Jared Buchansky (The Eye Shoppe and Matsuda rep) and brother Dave spearheaded hands-on relief initiatives to Staten Island and the Jersey Shore fueled in part with donations by the optical community reached via the Luxury Eyewear Forum on Facebook.

Incredibly close to 20/20’s heart, Production Director John Caggiano and Director of CE Processing Regina Combs endured severe damage to their homes. Regina might lose hers.

It may not sound like much but this issue of 20/20 is dedicated to Jared, Dave, Brad, John and Regina, and our Managing Editor Christine Yeh who took matters in hand and literally bused out to the Rockaways to assist in relief efforts. Every hurricane has an eye but the human eyes of those noted here can see us through to a new dawn. 

James J. Spina