I recently met with President George W. Bush in Dallas to talk about his series of paintings of veterans, and the accompanying book, Portraits of Courage. It was a fascinating experience, first, because of how good the paintings are, and secondly, because of the weight of the decisions that Bush made during his tenure and how the paintings reflect that. He was candid about his conversations with injured veterans, and also had some interesting things to say about Lucian Freud, Michelle Obama and even Vladimir Putin.
It can be heavy stuff, but this issue offers colorful fun, as well. Just look at the smile on cover star Dak Prescott’s face. This guy was supposed to fail. He was supposed to buckle last year under the pressure of leading the Dallas Cowboys when the beloved Tony Romo went down. But he didn’t. As the NFL season approaches, writer Michael Mooney sits down with Dak to see what makes him tick.
The rest of the issue is full of surprises: The shadow of this month’s solar eclipse will travel across America at up to 3,000 mph, transforming a summer day into two minutes of dark night; there’s a little company in Wisconsin that makes America’s craziest beer taps; and you can learn to dirty dance in the same mountain lodge where Patrick Swayze once swiveled with Jennifer Grey. Another favorite is a winemaker in Oregon who’s crafting delicious pinot noir using only methods from the 19th century—they even canoe the stuff to market. Sounds like a nice way to spend a summer day, actually. Enjoy the issue, and take some time to enjoy what’s left of summer.