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FLYING INTO THE FUTURE
As my wife of 47 years and I sit on this beautiful 767 airplane reading American Way, which it seems we have done hundreds of times, I can’t help but reflect on how important American Airlines has been and how influential your magazine has been. Having your 70th birthday has that nostalgic effect on you. Back in 1973, when we made our home in San Diego, moving from New York and leaving our family behind was clearly one of the downsides. We vowed that we would make semiannual trips back and yes, American, with its nonstop service, has always been our No. 1. If I’m not mistaken, back in the day, it was the only nonstop between the two cities.
When reading American Way, I would see articles about Nova Scotia or Martha’s Vineyard or Niagara-on-the-Lake or Quebec City, to name a few, and we would take advantage of your wonderful triangle policy so that we could couple our family visits with some adventure. How ironic that my son is now employed in Manhattan and will marry a woman who has five sisters and is not moving from New York. He has become a full-fledged New Yorker. Consequently, we will be making many more cross-country trips on American to keep connected with him. Keep those articles coming.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: It sounds like 70 for you is the new 50, Harold, or maybe even the new 40. It’s always great to get compliments from a longtime reader, and we appreciate your relating positive experiences about flying on American Airlines. We hope to keep informing and entertaining you on those cross-country flights.
THRILLED FOR TAMMY
Thank you for featuring Tammy Dombeck with her article on visiting the British Virgin Islands in the Jan. 15 issue of American Way (“Luxurious Peace”). Tammy was the high point of the morning news in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Her sunny personality was wonderful in the mornings, and I am sad she is no longer on our local news. Her trip to the BVI was well deserved and very informative. I was thrilled to learn her father got to walk her down the aisle and that she has found her happy ending with her husband. I hope she stays in the D/FW area and lands on another channel soon.
TAMMY DOMBECK RESPONDS: It’s kind people like you who make me love what I do, Melissa. I am looking at being back on the air this month on CBS in Dallas/Fort Worth. I will make sure to keep you and your Mansfield neighbors updated on your roadways and commute.
YES TO KEY WEST
I travel with American Airlines frequently, and an integral part of my enjoyment of your service includes reading American Way cover to cover. In fact, by the time the plane is climbing, I am already deep inside its pages. So, on a cold winter morning in Chicago while the ice was being rinsed away, nothing gave me greater pleasure than reading an article about a very warm place close to my heart: Key West, Fla. (“Brief: Go,” Jan. 1). It was 1994 when I first ventured onto its vodka-sanded shores, and I have been there numerous times since. In this fast-paced world (even faster so than in 1994), the eccentric yet unperturbed Key West is a place that, as the author of the article wrote, is “the perfect weekend destination stemmed from the fact that it’s just a short flight from Miami yet far enough away from the mainstream.” I would struggle to find a more pertinent endorsement of the island as a global destination. I would furthermore like to commend the writer for capturing the very essence of Key West in her article, through her comprehensive lowdown on the best culture, dazzling hostelry and unique history encompassed within this fantastic island.
SENIOR EDITOR ANNA FIALHO RESPONDS: I’m glad to hear you enjoyed reading Elaine Glusac’s story on Key West, Samuel. I agree that she did a fantastic job on it (though I might be considered biased). I’ve never been myself, but after working on her story, I’m more than ready to book a trip to the island. Maybe I’ll see you there.
One of the first things I do when getting settled into my seat on a plane is to check the magazines in the pocket in front of me. To my greatest surprise, when I picked up American Way, the name of my not-so-known native city was on the cover of the magazine. The Dec. 1, 2012, edition had a nice article about one of American Airlines’ newest destinations: Asunción, Paraguay (“Brief: Go”). I was very pleased to read how the writer nicely summarized the essence of my city, especially when he mentions our friendly qualities when receiving visitors.
J.H. RESPONDS: Sometimes the toughest people to please when you’re writing about a city are the proud residents and natives. It’s great that you have endorsed our effort, Braulio. Your letter exemplifies the friendliness of Paraguayans.
I was inspired to write to editor Adam Pitluk after reading the Dec. 1, 2012, “Editor’s Note,” because I’m also a Goonie. I’m sorry, Adam, that your name isn’t on the big screen, but you do have a following in American Way. I am an AA flight attendant based at LAX, and I never miss an issue. I am also a co-author of children’s fiction. My sister Deborah and I have published several books and have big dreams, just like the ones you and your buddy had. We are from Australia, so the books are about little Aussie animals and how they survive nature’s devastation. Pookie the Kangaroo is the hero. We have just started marketing in the U.S.
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: You’re my new best friend, Sheryl. Thanks so much for the sweet note, and best of luck with Pookie.
THE SUDOKU MATCH
On a flight from Dallas to Montreal, my wife found the Sudoku puzzles in American Way and challenged me to a race. By the time we were wheels-up, we had the “Gentle” puzzle solved. Passengers in the seats behind us noticed the competition and asked if they could join in, and we agreed a free drink would go to the winner. As the pilot announced the plane had reached its cruising altitude, the four of us checked off the “Moderate” puzzle. By now, we were attracting attention. Others had skipped straight to the “Diabolical” puzzle. For the next 30 minutes, the middle section of the plane was fairly quiet; the only sounds were grumblings of frustration over the difficulty of the last puzzle. Finally, somewhere over Wisconsin, a man nearby announced he had a solution. Congratulations and a drink purchase followed. Thank you, American Way, for helping us pass the time and for the opportunity to make some new friends.
DESIGN COORDINATOR BETSY L. SEMPLE RESPONDS: What a fantastic way to pass the time, Mike. We get a lot of feedback on Sudoku puzzles. They have made an impact on our customers. We’re so glad you put them to good use.
It is through reading American Way that 20 years ago we chose our honeymoon trip: Virgin Gorda. American Airlines took us there. Then several years later, reading about St. Barts in AW (“Brief: Go,” Feb. 1, 2012), we decided to go there. The countries, cities and towns that are featured in the magazine are always very well researched with excellent recommendations. American Way magazine has become our trusted, reliable travel agent. Thank you, American Airlines, and everyone who works on the magazine, for helping our holidays become more enjoyable.
J.H. RESPONDS: It is gratifying to know we’ve had a positive effect on your travels. Please keep reading, and we’ll do our best to continue writing about new, enjoyable places to visit.
THE LINCOLN SYMPHONY
While traveling from Chicago to Dallas to rehearse with the Marcus High School band, I was reading the American Way article on Steven Spielberg (“Pursuit of Perfection,” Dec. 1, 2012). It was fascinating, because we in the Chicago Symphony recorded the soundtrack to Lincoln with John Williams, but we were contractually sworn to secrecy. It seems that Spielberg’s link with authenticity also meant he wanted an orchestra from “The Land of Lincoln” for the soundtrack. During the recording sessions, Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis were running around with a camera photographing us. It was definitely not a normal week at Orchestra Hall.
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: Excellent insight into the process, Gene. Can’t say I’m surprised at the lengths Spielberg went to to ensure authenticity, but I’m certainly glad he tapped Chicago’s finest to perform the music.
GOT THE MOJO WORKING
I’ve wanted to write this letter for a quarter century. Yes, American Airlines has been our travel provider since the earliest days of our show. American Way is my first perk on every flight. Filled with the works of great writers and artists (yes, I believe journalism is art), American Way entertains, informs and intrigues me with every issue. The arrival of Adam Pitluk was a major watershed. Adam’s writing has often touched my heart, my memories and the “human essence,” as my late friend, Isaac Asimov, used to call it. Adam’s connections and his ability to share them has taken me on journeys back in time. We cannot buy tickets for such journeys. Bien merci pour le lagniappe; thank you for the “special extras,” AA and American Way.
A.P. RESPONDS: This is about the greatest compliment I could have ever been paid, and I thank my lucky gators and other swamp critters that I have the famous Mister Mojo in my corner. But really, all credit goes to my team of world-class editors, designers, writers and photographers. When you put a good solo artist in the right band, well, you get the Bayou Gypsies. And you get American Way. Merci beaucoup.
LOVE THE MUSIC
As a professional singer and music educator, I have flown pretty much exclusively on American Airlines from my first performance when I was 16. One of the first things I look forward to is reading American Way to find out what my fellow musicians are up to or what city in the world I’d like to visit someday. The Dec. 1, 2012, issue had a fabulous article on Beck’s latest sheet-music album (“Itinerary”). The article on composer Joel Beckerman’s sonic branding (“Brief: Q&A”) reminded me that American Way always makes space for supporting the arts, music and education.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JESSICA JONES RESPONDS: We feel the arts are critically important, and we’re proud to spotlight the artists we feel are doing great things. Thank you for your contributions.