New York Miracles

Our Lady of Miracles
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Consider that the reboot of Pratt enveloping Ventura 20 years ago. So I just ripped his jersey off. The loudest echoes on Friday night were the most recent ones. One thousand four hundred and sixty-nine days earlier, the Mets, three games out of first place and fresh off acquiring Yoenis Cespedes seconds before the trade deadline, beat the Nationals on a 12th-inning homer by popular homegrown infielder Wilmer Flores, who tugged at his uniform as he neared home plate.

The Mets swept the series, moved into first place for good following the games of Aug. Like four years and two weeks ago, Citi Field was filled Friday night with tens of thousands of delirious fans starved for any sign of meaningful late-season baseball by a franchise that has stumbled aimlessly for far too many of the plus years since its most recent championship. Until two weeks ago, the Mets seemed destined for their eighth losing season of the decade. But that felt like a long time ago Friday, when the near-sellout crowd stood, roared and waved giveaway T-shirts from the first pitch.

This stadium, just the atmosphere was amazing. Almost four decades later, you can call it belief, call it amazing or call it magic. But whatever it is, everyone in attendance at Citi Field or watching the Mets anywhere Friday night understood something very familiar is back. I have covered professional sports in the northeast for a variety of online and print publications since Currently I cover the Mets and Islanders for outlets such Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin. According to Lorraine and the legal documents, a longtime American employee launched the investigation, looking into several other AAirpass holders, including Dad and Jacques Vroom, another lifetime unlimited customer, whose AAirpass termination also resulted in a lawsuit.

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I reached out to American Airlines for comment on this article. Truth is, AAirpass was — even in its earliest, earliest days — a failed program. As for the case, American anticipated a resolution without a trial; Dad anticipated a trial by jury. They spent the summer of debating — back and forth — over the fraud clause, and whether it was ambiguous or clear. Then, American counterclaimed, saying Dad broke the contract by improperly using the companion feature.

In April , an American employee had approached Dad and asked him to stop, as security measures around flying had clearly started to shift after September So he stopped. He was the first person I knew to have a cell phone, and then the first person I knew to get a BlackBerry and remains one of the last to have one. But a computer — never.

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Ernie says Dad found creative ways to use his AAirpass, even though Ernie knows of other cardholders who absolutely violated the terms of use — letting others use it, getting paid. Seven third-party witnesses connected to Dad — family members, friends and business associates — were interviewed during discovery. Rarely could anyone else do that, even if they gave their word. Only Dad knew how to drop everything and fly. That was his superpower. He had wings. Yet American Airlines agents condoned it for decades.

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They had won. As mentioned, the judge issued a summary judgment. Then, the Court of Appeals affirmed. Dad had lost.

The appeal stayed until American exited bankruptcy in December And the final chunks of paperwork were filed in early But it never really quieted. That my mother, two uncles and an aunt all went in for depositions, or that hundreds of legal hours and thousands of dollars and documents unfolded. This spring, after gaining access to the court documents, and reading over 80 documents in full, I call Dad as I leave my writing space at p. I say this is clear: What American did to interpret fraud was out of line. During the same time period, he booked 2, flight segments for travel companions, and 2, were either canceled or a no-show.

I tell him I need to maintain my journalistic balance and integrity. Under those terms I bought the extra seat. Anyone I wanted. He wanted to be alone, just as had always been his booking practice on many airlines, even well before the AAirpass days. He liked his space. He liked access to bringing extra carry-on bags.

He liked some privacy. The airplane was his home. He was at home. People buy extra and empty seats all the time. A permanent extra seat for life — whether another human was in it or not. Here is why. I was up and [alone] in my home office and bored. So I would call the number for the AAirpass desk and talk to the agent about the news or the weather or about Paris or little London. Then, after an hour of nothing they had to hang up.

So I would make a reservation and ask them to fax it to me. Then the next day I would take the fax and cancel the reservation. I needed someone to talk to at midnight.

The number was open. His understanding was that fraudulent behavior was limited to giving the AAirpass to someone else — which he never did. I still have never ever ever booked any reservation online. I always use the phone. So their own agents never stopped me from anything. Real depression.

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On his iPad, he FaceTimes me from his hotel room. It took away my hobby. I thought that I could go to Sweden for the weekend in July and pick up flowers when I was They stole the very thing that caused me to give them a half a million dollars in the first place. And a half a million dollars is probably like 5 million dollars today. And they did it maliciously.

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So maybe someplace in between. Or maybe my mind goes back and forth. Of course, racial and class privilege, body ability, access to health care and support, and other privileges obviously play a massive role. But the inside spectacle of pain is traumatic across the board. So it was a huge loss, and it was shitty timing because it gave our family an opportunity to still travel, to find the joy in travel.

Hong Kong. New York. We inherit things from our kin. As an internationally touring poet, performer and educator, when I am on tour, I am alive. I know how to operate an airport or bus terminal or Amtrak station or a rental car. Natalie does too. People have come to me about their hatred or fear of flying.

A certain amount of time in the sky that belongs only to you.