A NIFTY BLEND OF OLD AND NEW
Congratulations on your new/old format. I travel fairly frequently, and I don’t recall seeing an airline magazine through which such a fresh breeze is blowing as it is in your publication. After reading Adam Pitluk’s description of the changes, I found myself eagerly reading most of the articles, including? some I at first glance didn’t think would interest me. As a former teacher of journalism, I know it is not easy to blend new formats and old type styles into a pleasing marriage, but you have done it. Speaking of old and new (I am a traveler who has left my “three score and ten allotment” in the dust), my seatmate was a young lady who spent nearly the whole flight handwriting thank-you notes to her family after her Christmas holiday. I complimented her on this nicety that has largely been abandoned, and she said: “You should thank my mother for teaching me how important it is to thank others.” Doubtless she spends most of her time communicating on her iPad or her iPhone, but I thought, in a way, we epitomized the blend of old and new you have incorporated so nicely into your new/old magazine. As we both left the plane, we were texting away a la mode. Congratulations, as well, on using The New York Times’ crossword. Will Shortz is clever and challenging. By Thursday’s puzzle, I am always panting mentally, and after that, forget it. Did he — in a previous life, perhaps — work for the Spanish Inquisition?
Larry Kavanaugh, Rocklin, Calif.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: We certainly appreciate your dedication, and I personally think your comments about the proper dose of old and new are spot-on.

A FOCUS ON RECOVERY
I just finished reading the Jan. 1, 2011, American Way (I love the new format, by the way!) and wanted to take a minute to thank you for your article “Restoring the Grand to the Grand Ole Opry House.” As a transplant from the mid-South, I have been sad to see how little national coverage the flooding in Nashville received (I have friends who are still misplaced.) It was great to hear that all hands were on deck to help restore this iconic theater to its former glory. I’m hopeful that this story is a signal that Nashville is on the road to recovery. I can’t wait to make a trip back to the area to see the details covered in your story.
Heather Snow, Arlington, Texas

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Thanks so much, Heather. We, too, were frustrated with the lack of flood coverage and felt the need to fill a rather large media hole.

MUSIC TO OUR EYES
While returning to Calgary from Miami, I was browsing through the Jan. 1 issue and found the article “Musical Masterpiece” by Dan Sweeney, about the New World Symphony’s new home. I handed the article to my son, who just started his architecture studies and is a drummer in a couple of local bands. He was quite impressed by the beauty and usefulness of a Frank Gehry design as the home for the New World Symphony. It definitively represented a reinforcement of two of his passions while providing an easy-to-read and entertaining article. Congratulations on the new, improved format and content.
Juan Antoni, Calgary, Alberta

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: I agree that the New World Symphony story was fantastic, and it was completely underreported in the U.S. American Way has a vast network of journalists the world over, but believe it or not, this story wasn’t pitched to us by a writer; it was presented to me by one of the sitting members of the AMR Board of Directors. I’m just glad we have board members in Miami, or we would have missed this story altogether.

THE WONDER YEARS
The “Citizen Main” article in your Jan. 1 issue bought back a flood of memories of the Main Street in the small Wisconsin city (De Pere) where I grew up. It was not touristic or notable in any way, but in my mind’s eye, there was the red-brick facade of Ford’s bakery with its sweet rolls called “long johns,” slathered with sticky white frosting that I licked off each of my fingers. There was Franken’s corner drugstore where, if I had 10 cents, I’d get a Cherry Coke at the soda fountain to take it to one of the dark wooden booths in the back to hang out with friends. And I could see the facade of the lone theater in town where I’d arrange to meet a girl I liked (because at 13, you were too young to “date”) to deliciously hold hands in the dark. Thanks for sparking such wonderful musings.
Steve Nicks, Madison, Wis.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Excellent memory laning here. I was too young to date at 13 as well. My girl and I picked the local roller rink as the right place to hold hands.

A LEGENDARY TALENT
Just wanted to tell you that on my recent flight home to Managua, Nicaragua, from Boston, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the article you published on John Legend. Legend is one of my favorite musical performers, and the article was well written and pictures very much like a fashion spread in GQ. American Way is the best in-flight magazine around and a refreshing change from the many standard in-flights out there. I read the issue from cover to cover, and I liked it so much, I took it home. Thank you for your excellent work. I can’t wait for my next American flight to read some more.
Mikell Reed, Managua, Nicaragua

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: We knew that John Legend had reach when we decided to put him on the cover, but we didn’t know it extended all the way to Managua! This factoid absolutely qualifies our decision.