We love letters. Maybe it’s because our grandmas always used to tape a quarter to our birthday cards when we were little and we now have this Pavlovian thing going on. Regardless, we want to hear from you. Sing our praises, bust our chops, or just tell us what’s on your mind. Send your thoughts to editor@americanwaymag.com.

A FRIEND WORTH READING ABOUT


I was recently on an American Airlines flight from St. Louis to Dallas and had a little extra time on my hands. Having not stopped at the newsstand to grab a magazine, I was desperate to kill time, so I immediately reached for the magazine in the seat pocket. To my surprise, there was a new issue of American Way. I started flipping through the pages and stumbled across the article “A Friend Left Behind” by Cathy Booth Thomas [Oct. 15]. I was truly touched by this article and wanted to pass along my thanks to your staff and to the writer for putting together a nice surprise in my seat pocket.
Leanna Knutson, Sherwood, OR.

ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: While the journalists who write for American Way are the undisputed champions in the field, Cathy Booth Thomas is a cut above. “A Friend Left Behind” is human-interest journalism at its finest. Thanks for reading.




A LEGEND IN HIS OWN TIME


I wanted to write and say that that was a great article on shuffleboard player Billy Mays [“The Legend Lives,” Aug. 1]. Carlton Stowers did an outstanding job capturing Billy. As a former tour player, I have had many a tail-kicking from him, but he was always gracious in victory. Even in defeat, which was rare, he was gracious as well. I only had the pleasure of beating him one time, out of I don’t know how many games we played.

He was always willing to help those who needed the help, and he always did it with humor. I remember the first time I played him: I was so nervous, I could barely shoot the weights down the board. He made me feel at ease with his humor and was even giving me pointers during our match.

Billy is a true legend and will undoubtedly go down as the greatest shuffleboard player ever. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to watch him play or do his trick shots, it is well worth the time to do so. He will do things that will make you shake your head and say, “No way.” Again, thank you for the great article on a true legend.
Tim Petri, Tulsa, OK.

ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: I couldn’t agree more, Tim. Carlton Stowers is a master storyteller, and Billy Mays is a true American ­institution. Somewhat of a shuffleboard player myself, I hope to one day get a chance to play the great Billy Mays.




LOOKING BACK IN TIME


Adam Pitluk’s Oct. 1 article, “A Case of the Mondays,” starts with him saying if he had the right kind of eyes, he would actually see back in time. As a physicist, I first thought that he was going to discuss a well-known fact of science: that light takes a finite time to travel through space, so whenever we look at anything, we are looking back at time.

For instance, if you look at the moon, you are actually seeing light that left the moon about 1.3 seconds ago, so you see the moon not as it is now but as it was 1.3 seconds ago. You are looking back in time. For the sun, you see it as it was about eight minutes ago. Even when you look at someone standing across the room, say 15 feet from you, you see them as they were about 0.000000015 seconds ago since that is how long it takes the light to travel 15 feet across the room. So everywhere you look, you literally see back in time. Kind of cool!
Michael G. Strauss, Ph.D.
Professor Of Physics
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

ADAM PITLUK RESPONDS: I only wish I were that smart, Professor Strauss. Instead, I was making ’90s-movie references. But you just educated us all. Thanks for the free fancy book-learnin’.




JIM DANDY


When Jim Shahin wrote his back-page piece in American Way, I would always look forward to reading the issue, and I’d start at the back. When his column was discontinued, I read from the beginning of the issue, and while the articles were good, I just didn’t feel that level of joy that I did when I started with the Shahin article. I must confess that sometimes I didn’t even look at American Way. So, thank you for bringing him back! As I leafed through the current issue [Oct. 1] in order (the Steve Martin and co-working articles were great) and found the Shahin piece at the end, it made my whole day much better.
Brenda Myles, Columbus, OH.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR TRAVIS KINSEY RESPONDS: Thank you, Brenda! We appreciate your kind words about American Way and are thrilled that you enjoy so many of our articles. We know that many of our readers look ­forward to ­reading Jim’s column whenever they’re on an American Airlines flight, which is why we’re sorry to tell you that as of Jan. 1, 2011, his column will again be absent from the back page of this magazine. As was the case the first time the column stopped appearing, Jim has elected to move on to his other interests, which means his column will no longer run in American Way. However, we do hope that you continue to enjoy our other great articles.




100,000 AAdvantage Miles for Your Thoughts



The staff of American Way really enjoys hearing what you think about the magazine. So much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2011 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing at the end of next year to win 100,000 AAdvantage­ miles. Want a chance at the miles? Just e-mail us your thoughts. It’s that simple. We can’t wait to hear from you at editor@americanwaymag.com