Sun Editor Dennis Kaiser took his first real vacation in about 20 years starting on Thursday, Aug. 11. He’ll be back Monday, Aug. 22.

I missed him. Between the two we report, write, photograph and edit newspapers that cover Avalon, Paramount, Belmont Shore, Seal Beach, Seal Beach Leisure World, Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, Sunset Beach and Huntington Harbor. Covering that same territory alone was a scary prospect.

We’ve been a working team for six years now. We went to journalism school together and have been a working team off and on since January 1986. I’ve always had someone to advise me, someone with 30 years of journalism experience to turn to when I had doubts about my decisions.

Did I mention that I missed him? Well, I did. I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything, but I missed him.

Please, don’t tell him I missed him. I’m not a sentimental man and I hate to give up my hard-hearted image. (Well, delusion.)

I was worried at first that I couldn’t pull it off. I shouldn’t have worried. Dennis set me up to succeed—a benefit of working with a professional. By the end of this day, I will have completed my work for the week and started on next week’s newspapers.

That said, I’m a little disappointed. I ran short of space in the Sun and was forced to hold a crime story that I felt was important. However, the update on the Sunset Beach annexation issue and the burglary of Rossmoor’s Quinonez family would be important to a greater number of readers. The readers count, I don’t.

I didn’t have room for multiple City Council stories and had to limit myself to one. There came a point Monday night when I had more stories to tell from various contributors than I had space. Something had to give. I asked myself the question: what would readers care about the most?

That’s a tough question to answer, because different readers want different things. The audience that turns to the business page is different from the audience that turns to the sports and opinion pages.

I’ll leave it to others to decide if I did the job well. I have deadlines to meet.

But before I get back to work, I’d like to thank the production staff, the sales staff, Publisher Vince Bodiford , and all our contributing writers and photographers—and, of course, Editor Dennis Kaiser. All of them helped me do my job during a week when editorial staff was temporarily down by 50 percent, during a week that included a laptop malfunction and a lengthy blackout.

Man, I really missed Dennis at times.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have another deadline to meet.

Always a pleasure,