Halloween night 2003 Steve Fossett [the subject of Without a Trace, by Bryan Smith, March] was at the Union League Club in New York. He was to receive The Order of Magellan from members of the Circumnavigators Club. This international club has around 1,000 members who, one way or another, have circumnavigated the earth in a continuous journey.

My effort was as copilot of a Piper 1958 Comanche 250. There were around 200 of us there, and our uniform was black tie. Steve was dressed in a gray business suit. He and I talked about our adventures and airplanes we had flown. We agreed that the satisfaction of doing it was enough—it was not necessary to always be first, although, he said, it didn’t hurt anything.

Fossett’s critics and detractors are many. I dismiss them as simply a jealous lot, lacking the courage and/or determination to dare high adventure. Truly, adventure should include the possibility of death—or it isn’t an adventure.

James L. Pirtle
Bedford, Kentucky



I want to thank Chicago magazine for the honor of being recognized as one of this year’s five Green Awards winners [The Shining, edited by Nora O’Donnell and Cassie Walker, April]. I commend the magazine for its ongoing commitment to spotlighting the diversity of contributions being done locally in sustainability.

However, in describing me as the designer of the zero-net-energy house now under way, the article gave me credit for the work of my colleagues and vision of our client. This beautiful and inspiring first-of-its-kind project has been designed by Jonathan Boyer, our director of architecture, supported by staff and consultants. Such a visionary project would not be possible without an equally visionary client: Michael Yannell. While awards go to individuals, all heavy lifting is done by teams. Thanks again for this honor.

Doug Farr, AIA
President, Farr Associates



Your article on Chicago salaries [Who Makes What, edited by Graham Meyer, April] was mildly interesting.

What would be totally fascinating is what these high rollers pay in income taxes.

Hans G. Schaetzke
Des Plaines



Push, Jeff Ruby’s online chronicle of the first pregnancy of his wife, Sarah, ended March 21st, with a posting called “Epilogue,” about the moments right after the birth. Valedictory comments from readers suggested the blog’s quirky popularity. “It was hilarious, touching, and oftentimes too much information, but that made it unique,” one fan wrote. Sarah posted a comment updating readers to the life of their family, now four, and expressed her appreciation for Push. “I consider it the best love letter that Jeff has ever written,” she wrote.
Right on the heels of Push comes the new Push, Jeff Ruby’s chronicle of his seven-week paternity-leave trip to Asia and Australia with Sarah and their not-yet-one-year-old baby, with weekly updates at



In Best New Restaurants (May), Jimmy Alexander was mistakenly identified as the owner of the old South Shore restaurant Alexander’s. The owners were George, Peter, and Nicolas Alexander, Jimmy Alexander’s uncles and father, respectively.