Im enjoying your April 1 Miley Cyrus cover story [M & BR] as we board the flight from Seattle to Chicago. She is quite a well-grounded celebrity. I met her at the Nashville Admirals Club last winter, and she was quite the sport, handing out autographs and letting pictures be snapped of her while sitting right out in the middle of everyone and not hovering around her guards.
ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: I agree: She did come off as well-grounded, and its good in this day and age to know that there are positive, family-friendly influences out there for teens.
NEW ORLEANS APPEAL
In the story City Game, Cowboy Style in the February 15 issue, writer Frank Isola takes great care to identify positive and unique features of every NBA arena. However, in discussing New Orleans, there are glaring omissions: no mention of the music and culture, outstanding NBA point guard Chris Paul, and the unique and incredible food in abundance anywhere in New Orleans.
Instead, Isola references a baked potato (we arent in Idaho, you know) and advises not to walk to the French Quarter. Perhaps this is his way of providing a public-service message that walking our city streets may be hazardous, but why not provide that same courtesy when referencing Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and a host of other U.S. cities with well-documented crime?
ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: Let me start by saying that I am a huge Chris Paul fan and an even bigger New Orleans fan. How about I make it up to you with a New Orleans cover at the end of the year? Its something weve been mulling over, but I think that your very heartfelt letter put me over the top. I hope not to miss anything in the next story. Look for the Big Easy on our December 15 cover.
Thanks for shining the spotlight on Will Shortz in the March 1 issue [The Wordsmith]. It is no puzzle why Mr. Shortz is revered by millions of fans worldwide. Our recent flight to Florida passed by quickly as we made our way through printed challenges created by Americas premier puzzle master.
ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: Will Shortz is an American institution, and I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed his profile.
Two comments in the March 1 Road Warrior issue triggered this confession. Shannon Kenitz said, Always be kind to the airline employees, and Louis Roden said, Everyone you meet on your journey is a gift; treat them as such. Reading these comments made me feel ashamed of my recent behavior at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
I had had a bad morning and had rushed to the airport. I had checked in online to save time, and when I got to the security line, the person at the entrance to the line asked me to measure my carry-on bag. I will admit that it was a somewhat large bag, but it is one that I have carried on dozens of times without any problem.
This time, the bag didnt quite fit in the measuring device. Well, I lost it! I got mad and took it out on the woman at the security line. I was rude and said, To heck with it, Ill just check it! I stomped off in a huff. I now realize that she was trying to help me, making suggestions on how I could reorganize the stuff in my bag. She even came halfway across the terminal to bring me my ID, which I had dropped in my anger. Even then, I just grabbed it out of her hand without a thank-you.
Now, sitting on the plane, I am ashamed. I not only violated the road-warrior philosophy, but I didnt live up to the person I thought I was. All I can do is promise, like a good road warrior, to be extra pleasant to airline, airport, and security personnel in the future. I only hope that, somehow, this letter makes it up to her. Thanks to you and the road warriors for making me realize the error of my ways!
ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: It takes a big man to write this letter, Jeffrey. The LaGuardia folks have one of the toughest jobs in the business.