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I recently read the story of Barrington Irving (“Taking Flight”) in the Feb. 1 edition of American Way. Just to give you some inside information on Barrington, I was his first volunteer when he had the idea of flying around the world. There were also other American Airlines volunteers — 767 Captain Tom Hynes, who was the chief pilot/managing flight director at the time; Miguel Navarro, who was the safety manager for American Airlines in Miami; Chief Phil Roundtree; Fleet Service Clerk Steven King, plus a slew of others. American Airlines also sponsored several tables for Barrington’s welcome-home gala. It is wonderful to see that the story about Barrington has made our publication. Some of the employees have been calling me and sharing the excitement of Barrington’s story, knowing they were part of aviation history.
American Airlines, Miami
MANAGING EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: It was our pleasure to showcase Barrington’s story, Mitchel. It’s even more enlightening to know further details about how his amazing quest came to be.
A DIFFERENT VIEW
Your magazine is chock-full of little treasures, and Adam Pitluk’s Feb. 15 “Editor’s Note” (“Good Advice, Part Two”) made my husband and me smile. We met 26 years ago, and on one of the earliest trips to his home in Vermont, he announced we were going skiing. I had not skied and was one of those Ohioans who liked to plant in the sun during the winter. My sweetie put us on a chair lift for six, and up the mountain we rode. Everyone else got off at the top, but I rode back down. The second time around, the young man at the bottom told people on either side of me to “get her off the chair at the top.” After a little tumble, I was back up on my feet, but my boyfriend was chuckling while trying to encourage me. I still recall thinking, “Is he trying to kill me?” Slowly, I followed him on a wide slope that was described to me as “forgiving.” My thought was: “Forgiving who?” That little lapse of concentration led to me turning, only to find I was looking up the mountain, not down. I could see my future hubby at the bottom. Now he was laughing hysterically, as I must have looked like a clown skier going backward. Near the bottom I decided to fall sideways, and we both thought of what Adam recommended — ski school. Well, the relationship lasted, and eventually we were skiing black diamonds together. Thanks for reminding us to laugh and have fun in the snow.
Assoc. Dean of Admissions & Student Affairs
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: From one Clevelander to another, I just got the biggest kick out of your note, Kathleen. Can I put you on retainer for your psychiatric services if my scheme to get my girls skiing doesn’t work? My local ski-shop owner is considering dropping me as a patient.
A MAGIC SURPRISE
It was a nice surprise on my recent flight from São Paulo to New York to find Magic Johnson on the cover (“Holding Court,” Feb. 1). When someone hears the word magic, they might think of Disney or David Copperfield. But for sports fans, there’s only one Magic, and that’s Magic Johnson — the player who, together with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, was responsible for making basketball a global sport with fans and players from Albania to Zambia. And what a cover story it was! Mike Downey wrote about a man who inspires us not only as an athlete but as a person.
WRITER MIKE DOWNEY RESPONDS: Magic has been a wonderful athlete and an inspiring gentleman for the many years I have had the pleasure of knowing him. He’s not the athlete he once was, but as a man, he continues to grow.
A SPECIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
Thank you for your article about Jackie Robinson (“American Hero,” Feb. 1). I grew up in Brooklyn and was an avid Dodgers fan. It was a particular honor as an adult to be among the first group of teachers at Jackie Robinson Middle School, built on the site of Ebbets Field. Thank you for reminding me of my youth and of Jackie Robinson’s legacy.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: The depth and range of Jackie Robinson’s impact is amazing. How enjoyable it must have been to teach in a school named after him.
My family and I fly on American Airlines to Vail, Colo., for our annual ski vacation. The no-electronics rule at takeoff has even my children searching for American Way. My kids head straight for the in-flight movies, and I always look forward to reading Adam Pitluk’s column. I have co-opted and shared Adam’s sage advice with friends who have one hesitant spouse unwilling to give up sand for snow (“Editor’s Note,” Feb. 15). The other section that is a geography lesson at 37,000 feet is the world maps showing where American flies. My children scan the maps lobbying for where we should go next. American provides my family with vacation memories that will last a lifetime. What is the value of this? Priceless.
A.P. RESPONDS: American Way is indeed a family affair, and the Boylands are making good use of it. As travel planning goes, you should consider Seoul, South Korea, a new AA route starting next month (and the cover story in our upcoming May 15 issue).