Do you surf? I just learned, inspired to try after reading this month’s cover story in Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit. Alex Hannaford, a British-born writer who contributes to GQ and the Atlantic, did the story. It’s not just about surfing. It’s about how surfing can save your life. The girl on the cover, 13-year-old Taylor Cottrell, has a rare primary immune deficiency order. Until recently she was hooked up to an IV. After surfing therapy from a former pro surfer named Van Curaza, Taylor has fallen in love with the sport—and finds it the best medicine.
I’m a skeptic by profession, so found it hard to believe until I got up on my first wave. It’s an indescribable feeling. Plus the paddling is the greatest exercise there is. And just sitting on the board in the ocean, waiting for a wave…well I’m a convert. It’s easy to see why Van’s nonprofit group, Amazing Surf Adventures, has helped many challenged people surf their way to a better life.
We at Spirit love doing stories like this—not puff pieces, but real-life tales with heart. We think they fit well with this heartfelt airline.
The issue also contains a piece by a pal of mine, Doug Humes. Doug and his wife, Barb, have troubled the country looking for “slivers of history,” signs of the past where you can get up close and personal with America’s story. They found the table of one of America’s greatest traitors (you can stay overnight in the house), the town where Jesse James lost his gang, the hotel where “California Dreamin’” was written, and more.
So what “slivers” can you recommend? Where are your undiscovered places where you can literally touch history? And, while you’re at it, where are your favorite Southwest-served surfing destinations?