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I have read Adam Pitluk’s “Editor’s Note” for years, and it always makes me smile. The column in the Sept. 1 edition (“Love Is All Around Me”) hit home. I am on my 23rd hour of travel back home from Southeast Asia. I hadn’t been there in two years, but I was fortunate enough to go for work, which allowed me to see many old friends. The story, Adam, was about getting your mom to move near you. I am lucky to have both of my parents near me but at 43, I couldn’t help but think of your retrospection … and mine. My family will be waiting for me when I land, and for that I am thankful. But I can’t help but wonder if I will ever make it back to Asia or India to see my friends again. Just in case I don’t, I soaked up the memories of this trip and took lots of photos. I just wanted to say thank you. You have a keen knack of knowing what topics to write about for weary travelers, and it makes our trips a little more enjoyable. You are a talented man. And yes, love is all around.
EDITOR ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: I feel the same as you when I see friends in faraway places that I can’t physically get to see often enough, Stephanie. I try to act as if this is the last time I’m going to see them so that we make memories that will last until the next time … in case that never comes. Unfortunately on several occasions, it hasn’t. You hit the nail on the head with your note.
On a recent trip, I read Kathleen Parrish’s article on Lucy Liu (“Liu’s Clues,” Sept. 1). I was surprised to see that Lucy’s parents were trained as a biochemist and a civil engineer. My wife and I came to this great nation 10 years ago (we both were 18). I recently received my Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, and my wife received her civil-engineering degree. Like Lucy, our parents wanted us to excel academically, and this nation provided all the opportunities. There are challenges being an immigrant in this country, but the opportunities are endless. Thanks to American Way for telling Lucy Liu’s story. She is a true inspiration.
WRITER KATHLEEN PARRISH RESPONDS: Thanks for your kind note, Raj, and congratulations to you and your wife for earning advanced degrees in two impressive disciplines. You are embodiments of the American dream. And as you point out, people like Lucy Liu serve as reminders that anything is possible.
In your Oct. 1 issue, I enjoyed the comparison of the careers of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the article “Clash of the Titans.” I had no idea that during Schwarzenegger’s career, he has never been nominated for an Oscar. Even more important to me as a frequent traveler was your chart that outlined which partner airlines you can fly on to earn miles. This has been particularly challenging information to find, and it solves issues when booking online international flights. Finally, I enjoyed the maps of where you fly and found myself planning the next trip before we landed. Thanks for making this magazine interesting and relevant to travelers and for returning my interest to the written word.
MANAGING EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: From charting Hollywood’s icons to charting the airlines we partner with, we’re glad we can bring you a little bit of everything, Larry.
THE GREAT MICKY
As I was perusing American Way on a flight to Miami from a philosophy speaking engagement at the Universidad de Colombia, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the article on Micky Wolfson (“Micky’s Secret Archives,” Sept. 1). I want to commend you for featuring this remarkable individual whose generosity truly has made a difference in the lives of many students. The ties between Miami Dade College and the Wolfson family, its biggest benefactor, go back many years. The downtown campus was established in 1970 and named for Micky’s father, Col. Mitchell Wolfson Sr., one of the original founders. With more than 175,000 students currently enrolled at eight campuses, Miami Dade College is the largest institution of its kind in the country. Micky’s latest contribution to the college allows students enrolled in the Wolfson Campus Museum Studies course access to his private collection. From that, they curate exhibitions and he provides funding for them to travel to New York for behind-the-scenes tours of the city’s museums, auction houses and galleries. For these students, many of whom have never been outside Miami-Dade County, this is a life-changing experience.
Miami Dade College
On my recent trip from Kingston, Jamaica, to Tampa, Fla., I picked up the copy of American Way. I couldn’t help but recognize articles that could appeal to just about anyone from any country traveling on American Airlines. But the one article that particularly stood out to me because of the nature of my trip was “Battle Scars” (“Brief: Q&A,” Oct. 1). My father-in-law had been given the tragic news that he had one month to live. When he passed away, that necessitated my travel to stay with my mother-in-law. That decision was not easy because of economic circumstances. But after reading Bill Mimiaga’s experience with male breast cancer, I reflected on the saying “Behind every cloud there is a silver lining.” For me, the silver lining is making sacrifices for our loved ones and friends when the need arises and when they are alive. So thank you for doing such a good job on the publication and for making our flying on AA such a joy!
ASSOCIATE EDITOR CHRISTIANA NIELSON RESPONDS: I want to express my sincere condolences for your loss, Suzanne. I’m glad reading about Bill Mimiaga’s experience was encouraging to you during your very difficult time and that you were able to find a silver lining through it all.
I was skimming through the newest issue of American Way, and the words “Pretty Little Pink Things” (Oct. 1) caught my attention. I did not realize it was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I was happy to be reminded. I was also excited that companies featured in the article were donating a percentage of their sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The design of the page was eye-catching and familiar. It really impacted me in so many different ways that I copied the page and posted it on Facebook. I also shared it on Twitter and Instagram. American Way inspired me to do my part for breast-cancer research, and I wanted to remind and encourage others to do the same.
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR BRIAN SMITH RESPONDS: Thank you for contributing to such a great cause, Beth. It’s rewarding to know that the content and design of American Way can make such an impact in people’s lives beyond when their flight reaches its destination.
I enjoyed Adam Pitluk’s trip down memory lane with the column “Double Vision” in the Oct. 1 American Way. My wife and I enjoy traveling to a destination where there is a special festival to enjoy, and there are many across our great country. We can now add Twins Day in Twinsburg, Ohio, to our list when we’re traveling in August. All of those unique festivals are truly a part of the fabric of America and should be celebrated. You should put the Strawberry Festival held in February in Plant City, Fla., on your list to visit. It is a great time of the year to escape the north and to enjoy sunshine and the best strawberry shortcake on Earth.
A.P. RESPONDS: Good suggestion, Robert. I’d never heard of the Strawberry Festival. I’ll be sure we have a writer covering it in February. Enjoy Twins Day. Maybe I’ll see you there. Twice.
For more than five years, I switched most of my air travel to a competitor because my experiences with AA had not been pleasant flying experiences. But I recently booked AA for my travel because of schedule and cost and to my pleasant surprise, my experience on this trip had me realize that many of my previous experiences no longer exist. The seating provided adequate room, the flight crew was super and the price was very reasonable. On my flight from Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles, there were two medical emergencies, and the crew handled them with excellent skill and safety. We made an emergency landing in Lubbock, Texas, so the situation could be handled, and the pilot kept us informed while maintaining a sense of calmness and professionalism. My hat’s off to the crew and AA for the heroic acts. They possibly saved a man’s life. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading American Way. I enjoyed the “Funky Festivals” article (Oct. 1). Because I am from the Austin area and Austin has the “Keep Austin Weird” theme, the fact that each festival was rated with a “weirdness factor” had me laughing out loud.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN HUBBARD RESPONDS: The feedback we get about flight crews is consistent with your experience, Robert. They are simply the best. Thanks very much for your compliments on our magazine. Living near Austin, you know that weird can be good. And when it is, we love to write about it.
THE REAL THING
I very much enjoyed reading “Revolutionizing Prosthetics” (Aug. 15). While Iron Man 3 screened as the in-flight movie, it was amazing to see parallels and learn about advances being made in mind-controlled prosthetics. I look forward to reading the sequel about this technology of combining machine and humans, which changes lives.
SENIOR EDITOR ANNA K. FIALHO RESPONDS: Writer Charlotte Huff did a fantastic job of breaking down a complex subject to explain how these scientifically and technologically revolutionary discoveries are being made. Who knows, Lisa? Maybe Iron Man really will exist one day.
AN INNOCENT MAN
For my business trip from Washington, D.C., to Pasadena, Calif., I had the option to travel with several similarly priced airlines, but my previous experience reminded me to choose American. I was not disappointed. From an intelligent and efficient boarding process to in-flight NBC shows to American Way, I was kept entertained and satisfied the entire way. The article “Dive In” (Oct. 1), about the Grand Cayman Islands, particularly piqued my interest because it is a vacation I would like to take someday. I wanted to remember the tips offered by the author on where to stay and eat, so I ended up taking my seat’s copy with me. So this is a note to the passenger in seat 26E (I was seated in 26F): Please share your copy of American Way with your neighbor.
T.K. RESPONDS: I’m quite sure, Will, that the passenger who sat down after you had a fresh copy of the magazine. We try to make sure that everyone has a copy of American Way. That said, I’m glad you took advantage of the opportunity to bring the issue home. They are free and we encourage people to take them with them. So please don’t think of yourself as any kind of scofflaw.
DO THE MATH
Just a quick thought regarding scoring the Mensa test: When my wife and I travel on American Airlines, we always take this test together. We figure if we complete it together, and Mensa members have an IQ above, say, 140, then we each have a minimum IQ of at least 70. Cool, huh?
J.H. RESPONDS: I think this might be a little like a kid coming home from grade school proud of making 50 on two tests because that would equal 100. You do, however, get the proverbial “A” for effort.