For one 1970’s family, the center may not hold, but it certainly does fold.
In 1978 Jimmy Carter mediates the Camp David Accords, Fleetwood Mac tops charts with Rumours, Starsky fights crime with Hutch, and twelve-year-old Lou Cove is uprooted from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Salem, Massachusetts– a backwater town of witches, Puritans, and sea-captain wannabes. After his eighth move in a dozen years, Lou figures he should just resign himself to a teenage purgatory of tedious paper routes, school bullies, and unrequited lust for every girl he likes.
Then one October morning an old friend of Lou’s father, free-wheeling (and free-loving) Howie Gordon arrives at the Cove doorstep from California with his beautiful wife Carly. Howie is everything Lou wants to be: handsome as a movie star, built like a god and in possession of an unstoppable confidence.
Then, over Thanksgiving dinner, Howie drops a bombshell. Holding up an issue of Playgirl Magazine, he flips to the center and there he is, Mr. November in all his natural glory. Howie has his eye on becoming the next Burt Reynolds, and a wild idea for how to do it: win Playgirl’s Man of the Year. And he knows just who should manage his campaign. As Lou and Howie canvas Salem for every vote in town – little old ladies at bridge club, the local town witch, construction workers on break and everyone in between – Lou is forced to juggle the perils of adolescence with the pursuit of Hollywood stardom.
Man of the Year is the improbable true story of Lou’s thirteenth year, one very unusual campaign, and the unexpected guest who changes everything.
Lou Cove was an editor and journalist for the first ten years of his career, but his Man of the Year experience got him hooked on campaigns: as a senior advisor at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation he has helped build a $25 million Alliance of national funders to support one of his favorite programs: PJ Library. He has advised CEOs and boards of trustees at numerous national non-profits, including the American Institute for Architects, Represent.Us, Double Edge Theatre and Girls Leadership Institute.
Lou is former Executive Director of Reboot, a network of leading young Jewish creatives devoted to “rebooting” modern Jewish culture: digital entrepreneurs at Google and YouTube; creators of TV shows and films like Lost, Orange is the New Black,Transparent, Anchorman and Star Trek; journalists from NYT,Wired, and WSJ, etc. Under his leadership, Reboot launched and attracted millions to projects like National Day of Unplugging,10Q and Sukkah City. Lou was also Vice President of the National Yiddish Book Center.
Lou lives in Western Massachusetts. He hasn’t seen a new copy of Playgirl since 1980.