Letter Rip
  • Image about Air Mail 09-01-2006

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 it to editor@americanwaymag.com.

I have been flying American Airlines all over the world since 1985. I left my home in Miami for my weekly trip to Latin America on American on June 19. I kissed my eight-months-pregnant wife, Patricia, goodbye and jokingly asked that she wait to have our first baby until I return from Rio. (The baby wasn't due until July 11.)

My meetings were very successful, and I was slated to arrive back in Miami around 4:30 a.m. on June 22. The flight left on time, and I spoke with my wife to say good night just before we took off. Everything was fine with her, other than the usual discomforts of being eight months pregnant.

The flight arrived in Miami a bit early, and when we reached the gate, the normal announcements about customs were made by the gate agent, as well as a surprising announcement requesting that William Ronca speak with the gate agent immediately. As I approached the agent, I said, "What? Is my wife in labor?" The answer was, "Yes, and get to the hospital immediately."

I breezed through customs, hopped into my car, and arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital around 5:30 a.m. As it turns out, Patricia's water had broken at two a.m., and she'd had no way to contact me. She was very concerned, as this was our first child, and I had waited 43 years to become a parent. She was able to reach her mother to take her to the hospital, so the only concern she had was making sure I arrived in time for the birth.