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100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.
We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2014 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage­ miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply email your thoughts to us at editor@americanwaymag.com



One of a kind?
I write this email knowing that it is perhaps ludicrous to even contemplate that you might respond to it. But my love for The Sundays is such that I’m acting against every instinct and sense of rationality in me. After searching for any trace of life as far as The Sundays are concerned, I went into a frenzy when I discovered that Adam Pitluk had in fact interviewed them recently (“Here’s Where the Story Continues” and “As the Heavens Shudder,” April 15). The mere fact that they are alive, together and well fills me with hope and longing. Pitluk’s interview leads me to believe that perhaps The Sundays don’t buy into their own hype, or they downplay their significance, especially on the indie-rock scene of Britain in the early ’90s that, through The Sundays, I’ve acquired a taste for. What makes my email unique, I suppose, is where I’m writing from. I don’t know how many Sundays fans are in Pakistan, but I want you to know that I exist.
Sohaib Siddiqui, Karachi, Pakistan
 
Editor Adam Pitluk responds: We’re thrilled that you wrote, Sohaib (and that American Way has a Pakistani readership!). Indeed, music is the tie that binds, and we like to think that this ­magazine is the literary equivalent, as ties that bind go. Thank you for your long-distance effort to write us.

Throwback Writing
I was greatly encouraged to read your offer of a chance to win 100,000 miles to readers who have a letter published in American Way, but perhaps not for the obvious reason. In this ­instant-gratification world of texting, ­Facebook and Twitter, where most utterances are short and often not well thought-out, any motivation to write a real letter should be applauded. A real letter has an introduction, setting the scene for the body of the piece; then into the meat of the message; and, finally, a summing up, leaving the reader clear about the point of the epistle. Your offer, or challenge, may cause thousands of young people — who are totally not expecting to find anything interesting in an in-flight magazine — to not just write a letter but to write the first letter in a lifetime of writing letters once they realize how wholesome and satisfying the exercise can be. I’m so happy you did this that I won’t even mind if my letter doesn’t get published.
Alan Davies, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Associate Editor Christiana Nielson responds: We agree that the art of writing is very important in the social-media age, Alan. While different forms of communication are necessary in serving their respective needs, the ability to write a clear and well-thought-out letter is, we think, one of the best skills to have. Thank you for the kind words and for supporting us in our writing endeavors.

Healthy Laughter
My husband and I are both physicians and can really appreciate the importance
and the effects of humor in life. This past year, we lived apart while he pursued further training at a medical center in a different state. It’s been a tough year, but it was such a delight to read your pieces in the April 1 magazine about Jimmy Fallon in “Figure of Fun” and about stand-up comedians in “Funny Business.” As I made my weekly flight between Chicago and San Jose, Calif., I was warmed by the lightheartedness of the articles and was left with the reminder that every cloud does have a silver lining — or at least a funny line in it somewhere. So thank you, American, not just for safely taking me “home” to my husband every weekend but for reminding me that it’s important to laugh along the way.

Sharla O. Sundberg, M.D., San Jose, Calif.
 
Senior Editor Jan Hubbard responds: I don’t think anyone is more qualified than a ­physician to reaffirm the notion that laughter is the best medicine, Dr. Sundberg. We’re pleased our magazine left you feeling better.

American Muscle
As a professional who has been lucky to participate in brand and product development throughout my career, your article on the Mustang (“Serious American Muscle,” April 15) inspired me. The development and launch of the Mustang represents the essential things that made this car an icon, starting with a deep insight with regard to traveling. It is not only about reaching the destination but also about doing so with grace and meaning. It is about making a statement, which impacts who we are as travelers.
Santiago Gallo, Chicago
 
Research Editor David Halloran responds: Like you, Santiago, I also found inspiration in the Mustang’s story. I have heard many tales from people about their Mustangs and the adventures they had in them. It is remarkable that the team at Ford made a car that not only emphasized the individuality of the owners but also became a part of their journey through life.

Outdated
I had to check the calendar after reading ­Carlton Stowers’ “Bumper-Sticker Blues” (May 1). Had the pilot flown into a time warp and landed us in 1970? Bumper stickers are the least of our worries when it comes to driving distractions now that everyone is texting and smartphoning in the car. If anything, the inanity of bumper messages is downright quaint compared to contemporary ways where social media has invaded our roadways.

Dan Blumberg, San Diego
 
J.H. responds: Carlton Stowers is very accomplished in the art of writing tongue-in-cheek, Dan. His column was written to entertain and to provide background on the bumper sticker industry that may be old but continues to thrive.

Special Reading
As a teenager, I get bored fast. ­During long flights, I have to do many things to keep my brain entertained: listen to music, read books, watch movies and read American Way. It’s the kind of magazine that catches your attention. I’m studying journalism, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to read good articles while traveling. Thank you for the article “Special Talent” (March 15) about George Dennehy, the armless musician. This is a beautiful story of life. George shows us that it doesn’t matter how difficult reality can be, we have to fight for our dreams. I appreciate all of your articles. Please keep working to make the world a more interesting place to visit and to know.

Camila Luis, Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
Senior Art Director Brian Smith responds: When you read about a man with no arms managing to become a top-flight musician, Camila, you can’t help but be motivated. George Dennehy is an inspiration to us all.

Breaking Good
My business and personal travels put me on American Airlines flights rather frequently. I always pick up American Way and time it just right so I spread my reading time. If I know I’m going to be on flights more than once that month, I don’t want to run out of reading material. I just have to say that the May edition hit every point of my personal interests — food, history and Breaking Bad. I absolutely enjoyed the recipe for buttermilk doughnuts (“Sweet Rewards”). I happened to be traveling with my daughter, who took a picture of the recipe (she didn’t know it was OK to take the magazine) so she could make them for Mother’s Day. The article “A Presidential Tour” was not only interesting but also educational and has put a couple of spots on the map to visit in the future. The article on Bryan Cranston and his career (“Breaking Through”), which has exploded since Breaking Bad, was a good summary of his achievements and continuous success. I always appreciate the magazine, but this one was a hit for me.
Paola Vargas, Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
 
Group Executive Editor Travis Kinsey responds: Receiving a letter about one story that struck a chord with a reader is, of course, much appreciated, Paola. To get a note thanking us for several stories in one issue makes us especially glad that we delivered what we always strive to give our customers: an entertaining, enjoyable and informative read from cover to cover.

Teens and History
Joey Green’s chronicle of his experience traveling to Germany with his girls (“In Search of Crazy King Ludwig,” March 15) really hit home. I was a travel-phobic person and hated every business trip I was assigned until I visited Germany and Switzerland. During my first trip, my eyes were opened at the harmony found in societies that balance technology and tradition. Then, to my wife’s surprise, I decided we all had to visit. The girls, 12 and 13, had Six Flags in mind for that summer, not Europe. Our trip, however, was a complete success. The visit to the fortress at Würzburg and the days at Rottenburg were unforgettable. Their days seeing actual armor, visiting a real walled city, standing next to water fountains and gardens hundreds of years old left a permanent imprint. They always excelled in math and science, but after seeing firsthand what other countries have to offer, they also started excelling in history and geography. The article is worth every word for those of us who have lived similar occurrences. I wish every family could enjoy comparable experiences.
J.C. Delgado, San Angelo, Texas
 
Writer Joey Green responds: Our daughter Ashley struggled through a year of AP European History in high school, but our trip to Europe brought the Renaissance to life for her in ways that a textbook never could, J.C. And now our youn­gest daughter, Julia, passionately campaigns in her government class for high-speed trains in America.

Mastering Language
As a foreign-language teacher and a musician (music being a language one can learn) I was entertained, delighted and excited to read Caillin Murray’s “Breaking Down the Language Barriers” (April 1). I became near-native fluent in German in six months in my 20s, which is practically unheard of and is a lifelong skill I continue to maintain. Attitude is a large part of language learning, as is effort and time invested. Murray presented the multiple obstacles, solutions and case studies in an uplifting manner. What a treat to read as I flew to Chile for the first time on American, and I can guarantee you the next time I’m there, I will be speaking Spanish!

Nicole Warner, Hudson, Wis.
 
J.H. Responds: Although some people seem to pick up new languages easier than others, Nicole, you are correct to say that learning a language is a lot about attitude and effort. Caillin Murray did a nice job of pointing that out. Good luck with your Spanish. And perhaps Italian will be next in line.

An In-flight Delight
During the last eight years I’ve been traveling extensively, clocking an average of 120,000 miles per year, mainly for business. Like all frequent flyers, I try to make as few ­connections as possible when booking travels. Since I live in Houston, I don’t get to fly much with American Airlines, since Houston is not one of your main hubs. Recently, however, I happened to be on an American flight, and I must thank and congratulate the team ­behind the production of American Way. It is probably one of the best airline magazines I’ve read. I enjoyed most of the articles, but found “Island Time” (March 15) outstanding. I truly identified with the Road Warriors and thought to myself, “Why am I not flying more with American?!”
Antonio Montes, Houston
 
Senior Editor Anna Fialho Byers responds: It’s a pleasure to get accolades from readers — especially one as well-traveled as you, Antonio. We’re glad you enjoyed the cover feature on our 2013 Road Warriors and urge you to enter this year’s contest, which launches this month. You never know: This time next year you could be flying American and reading about yourself!

Mark Scheuern/Alamy
Get Your Motor Running
Margie Goldsmith’s article on her challenging motorcycle ride (“Chasing the Tail of the Dragon,” April 1) reminded me that when I was ready to get my driver’s license, my mom offered to pay for the license if I would promise to never get the required license for motorbikes (she was scared I would not make it beyond my 18th birthday). I kept my promise, but I found a loophole for enjoying the thrill by riding together with my best friend. While he was fully busy zooming up the steep, windy roads of the Black Forest in Germany, just to descend later into one of those picturesque villages for some good food and sightseeing, I fully enjoyed the wonders of nature and the thrill of the speed sitting right behind him. And when I moved to the U.S. some years later, I bought a convertible for the mountain roads in Arizona — it’s as close as it gets to a motorbike without breaking my promise. Thanks for bringing back those wonderful memories!
Jens Eltze, Oro Valley, Ariz.

Writer Margie Goldsmith responds:
I had the same fear of motorcycles as your mom prior to riding on the back of Jamie’s bike, Jens. I can also relate to your joy of riding in the open air, both in a convertible in Arizona and on the back of a bike on winding German roads. We are renting a BMW and also doing Bavaria’s Romantic Road by motorcycle soon!