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LOVE ACROSS THE AISLE
Sitting on an American Airlines flight on Nov. 4, 2012, I met the man of my dreams. I wasn’t supposed to be on that flight, much less sitting in that seat. For some reason, I had been upgraded to First Class, and he was across the aisle. I assumed he was a frequent flier, which I later found out was true. I felt a strong desire to talk to this handsome gentleman, but my shyness got the better of me and I buried my head in the Nov. 1, 2012, edition of American Way and started reading a very interesting article on Alicia Keys (“Unlocked”). It took me by surprise when he leaned over and commented on the article. I looked up, only to be met by the most spellbinding eyes and contagious smile. Now I wake up to those eyes and smile every morning. Every time we fly together, we fly with American Airlines, and every time I pick up American Way, I smile to myself and reminisce on the day we met.
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: I don’t think any compliments make me happier than when American Way serves as the tie that binds (see “Editor’s Note” on page 10).
I always enjoy perusing American Way, but the Dec. 1, 2012, issue was so outstanding that I had to write. My wife and I are volunteer missionaries on the island of Dominica, and after visiting our family in Boston, we were returning to Dominica when I saw the cover highlighting Steven Spielberg’s latest movie, Lincoln. I love historical films and had wanted to see this one. The interview with Spielberg (“Pursuit of Perfection”) provided so many fascinating details about the era that Lincoln lived in and the efforts to incorporate those details into the movie. I loved the article. I continued flipping and found another article entitled “Joining the Jedis.” The article was quite engaging and humorous in its description of Jedi sword training in New York City. A great read. What other magazine compiles such an amazing diversity of articles? From sci-fi to the history of a president, American Way provides immersive reading material.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JESSICA JONES RESPONDS: We always try to bring attention to a wide range of topics and stories, Jaime, and we’re glad that diversity struck a chord with you.
I really enjoyed reading “Past in Present” by Samuel G. Friedman in your Dec. 15, 2012, issue of American Way. I am a “holiday” flier and only read snippets here and there. All the articles were thoughtful and well written, but the one by Mr. Friedman led me to write this note. I have been considering making a European trip for my boyfriend and me for our 10-year anniversary in May. This wonderful article enticed me so much that Rome is now to be our last and longest stop in our cross-continental trip. The locations, the cuisine, the historical trivia and the photographs were all wonderfully done. Here’s to the love of my life and my chance to experience La Dolce Vita in May.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: It seems to me our greatest challenge is to get you on more planes during the year and, of course, that would give you more chances to read our magazine. Even if you remain a “holiday” flier, however, you can go to aa.com/americanway to find digital editions of the magazine.
Coming back from spending holidays in Mexico, I was drawn to the Jan. 1 issue of American Way by the gorgeous and elegant Andrea Bocelli on the cover. Well, I ended up reading the whole issue. One article after another transported me to a different adventure. One prevailing emotion I was left with after reading the magazine is this: How in the name of Father Time am I already over 50? But wait … this was actually a good thought. I am enjoying midlife, and my youthful exuberance is — at least in my mind — still alive. Then, reading “Going to Extremes” by Jessica Jones brought up a place I have always wanted to visit: New Zealand. I might not, like her, go bungee jumping (or maybe I will), but I have to go there while I am feeling energetic and adventurous. I love seeing the world, and my bucket list is still long.
A.P. RESPONDS: This is an excellent outlook and approach on life, Martha. I don’t know if I’ll go bungee jumping anytime soon either (or maybe I will), but I probably won’t.
During my last flight from Seattle to Chicago, I read American Way and found it entertaining, educational and useful in my line of work. I teach English as a Second Language at Solex College in Wheeling, Ill., and in order to keep students engaged in class, I utilize a multitude of resources. The article about “L.A.’s geekiest creative collective” (“Pure Imagination,” Dec. 15, 2012) is a valuable piece of information about an innovative and unusual company that I plan to use in the Business English class. And the article about fan fiction (“Choose Your Own Adventure”) inspired me to create an assignment for students in the American Literature class.
SENIOR EDITOR ANNA K. FIALHO RESPONDS: We hope other passengers are as inspired by those pieces as you (and we) were, Dorothy. I also hope we can continue to keep you entertained, as well as produce a great educational tool in the process. It’s nice to know that AW is making an impact in the classroom too.
AN EXCELLENT SURPRISE
In the past, I did not read American Way because I’d bring my own magazines, Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Recently, I accidentally checked in these carry-on items and had nothing to do for a three-hour flight to Dallas. So, I reached for the Jan. 15 issue, and I was blown away. All of the above were in one magazine. Amazing. I first read a concise yet informative article about Columbus, Ga. (“Brief: Go”) and am now contemplating a trip there using recommendations from the article. I read the more in-depth article on Shanghai (“Shanghai Wonder”), and now I dream about visiting that part of the world. I am keeping this article in my travel folder to reference when I take that trip. I capped it off with a couple of games, and as I finished solving the Sudoku puzzle the plane landed. It was the fastest three hours I can remember.
A.P. RESPONDS: Welcome to American Way, Rickey, your new and improved one-stop shop for all your editorial and entertainment needs.
A FUTURE WITH FARMS
Cathy Booth Thomas wrote a great column on farming (“Kings of Cotton,” Dec. 1, 2012). She could write a family story on each agricultural product and have a following.
COLUMNIST CATHY BOOTH THOMAS RESPONDS: Tyler, I’m in “high cotton” just reading your compliment. I try to write a column a year on farmers. I have even written about friends with home gardens.
FACT BETTER THAN FICTION
On my short flight from Miami to Tampa, I was planning to scour your Jan. 15 issue to come up with a witty letter to the editor in the hopes I could have a chance of winning 100,000 AAdvantage miles. But instead of coming up with a contrived letter, I stumbled across the feature on Columbus, Ga. (“Brief: Go”). While we all dream of trips to Tuscany, the British Virgin Islands and Madrid (also featured in the issue), it is the destinations close to home that interest most of us. Keep the profiles of the quaint American cities coming. After all, they embody the American Way.
J.H. RESPONDS: There are many little-known great places to visit, Jeff, and we’re dedicated to finding and writing about all of them.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH REPRISE
I really enjoyed reading your article on Jackie Robinson in honor of Black History Month (“Jackie Robinson: American Hero”). For someone who was born in the 1970s, it helped put Robinson’s achievements in perspective and it brought back fond memories of a historic trip of equality my dad and I took in December 2010. We started in Savannah, Ga., visiting plantations that highlighted the very disparate lives slaves led compared to their wealthy masters. Then we visited nearby Fort Pulaski, where the Union Army forced the Confederates to surrender. I left the area with a good feeling about how far African-Americans have come. But then I was hit with the reality at the site of the Woolworth sit-ins [in 1960], which is part of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, in Greensboro, N.C. It was remarkable to me that although slavery had been abolished 100 years earlier, African-Americans couldn’t sit at the same lunch counter as whites. Your article on Jackie Robinson not only brought his heroism to light but that of other civil-rights pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. The article was a wonderful walk through the civil-rights movement as well as a vivid reminder of a very moving trip.
J.H. RESPONDS: One of the enjoyable aspects of writing about Jackie
I BELIEVE IN MAGIC
Being an immigrant from Turkey, not being raised with any color or race difference, I find Earvin Johnson Jr. “Magical.” His sports career coincided with my first years in the USA. Magic Johnson was at the top of his career, and it was a pleasure to watch the Lakers. He is a real gentleman, a fantastic sportsman, and he made me love basketball.
A.P. RESPONDS: That’s a very interesting perspective, Loni, and one that resonates with all of us.
FourSquare just awarded me the JetSetter badge, level 4, when I checked in at D/FW Airport — my 15th airport in a year. I am the guy who lives in airports and airplanes, visiting faraway cities for my company. When I travel, I always look in the seat pocket for American Way. Reading the Feb. 1 issue, I knew I could count on the magazine to provide me something inspiring (“Jackie Robinson: American Hero”), tantalizing (“Sweet Perfection”) and engaging (“Holding Court”) as I travel the country. Thanks for editing the perfect magazine to have with me in the travel zone.
MANAGING EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: Being an avid baseball fan, I found this issue especially fun to work on, with stories on the Dodgers of old (thanks to Jackie) and new (thanks to Magic). (All that said, I’m a Cleveland Indians fan.) With spring training in full swing and the season about to start, I’m especially excited about our upcoming April 1 all-baseball issue. Be on the lookout for it, Larry. Play ball!