A Role Model for Every Body
Thank you for the wonderful article on Mirna Valerio [“Conversations,” May/June]. As a curvy girl too, who loves the outdoors, I found her incredible positivity and boundless energy transcend the pages of Yankee. She is such an inspiration, and I am a new fan. Thank you again for publishing her story!
Erin Reinhart Lake in the Hills, Illinois
As a college student in the mid-’60s, I would frequently travel between my home in Riverside, Connecticut, to Nichols College in Massachusetts. We would take Route 15, stopping for a bite to eat along the Berlin Strip and then on through Hartford and the Windsor area. Noted for its huge fields of tobacco, at times draped with white cloth, it was truly an impressive sight and one to look forward to on each trip over those four years. The movie that brought those fields to life for me was 1961’s Parrish. I looked with anticipation to see if it made it into your tribute to movies made in New England [“Making a Scene,” May/June], but sadly it was missing. Just felt it was worth mentioning.
Bob Fossum Southbury, Connecticut
I just put down the March/April issue after an hour of peaceful, fascinated, emotional immersion. Cover to cover, the articles were one five-star experience after another, from cozy and comforting (Martha’s Vineyard, backyard birding) to educational and aspirational (“Zen cooking”) to beautiful (ocean photos) to thought-provoking and compassionate (Covid essay).
I was raised in Seekonk, Massachusetts, and nearby Rhode Island. Although I haven’t lived there for decades, I have subscribed to Yankee on and off because New England is still my heart’s home. There’s always something of interest to peruse in Yankee—but this particular issue just was one marvel after another.
Gail Povar Bethesda, Maryland
So, you did almost an entire issue about Martha’s Vineyard [March/April], and the Polly Hill Arboretum was not mentioned in the article about the island, or in the resource info about the Vineyard, or in the “Green Thumb Go-Tos” article. What gives?
Karin Stanley West Tisbury, Massachusetts
Perhaps we were too zealous in pruning back our text? As one of our Vineyard-savvy staffers has long avowed, West Tisbury’s own Polly Hill Arboretum is indeed a magical place worth visiting: pollyhillarboretum.org. —The Editors
Weighing In on ‘From Away’
In the wake of Rachel Slade’s essay about being an outsider in a small, close-knit Maine community during Covid [“From Away,” March/April], a number of readers wrote in or visited our social-media channels to offer their own takes, some of which are excerpted here. Join the conversation at newengland.com/from-away.
I can’t help but wonder if Rachel Slade’s family’s home was on the same “island halfway up the coast” as the one my husband and I chose to move to from the D.C. area. A couple of small-town kids, we had endured city life for years and were ready to retire to a slower-paced area; we had visited Maine in all seasons (including blackfly and mud!) and loved it.
We tried to get involved in local volunteer life; Yankees know how nearly everything is run by volunteers in places like that island, which was so much a part of our lives for about 30 years. Shortly before he died, one of the world’s best neighbors told us that, much as we tried to get involved and regardless of the respect we might have earned, we would always be “from away.” He was right. I will always love that island and will never forget those years we spent there, but it’s sad that we were destined to always be “from away.”
Andrea M., via newengland.com
I am a resident of a very affluent and sparsely populated (in winter) resort town. We felt helpless as the very well-to-do summer residents raced from hot spots of Covid infection to our small winter community. The hospital is down-staffed in winter. Police are down-staffed. We basically hunker down and reboot all winter.
It was difficult not to feel that our perceived “island” was being inundated by those possibly infected. We didn’t go so far as to chain [anyone’s driveway], but we sure did feel that those folks from away put us at risk without thought of our well-being.
Matthew Harlow, via Facebook
A sad and disappointing story. Sad because the family had to deal with illness, yet disappointing because of the way they were treated by locals. True Mainers are friendly, welcoming, caring, and kind.
Nancy Frothingham, via Facebook
My family reads Yankee to learn about, appreciate, and enjoy the best that New England has to offer. I found the article “From Away” to be disappointing in that it hints at a stereo-type of Mainers being unwelcoming, and includes a particularly harsh response to one unfortunate situation. I believe it was in poor taste to include this type of article in an otherwise nonjudgmental publication. Please keep it positive, Yankee, especially in a time where there is so much negativity, divisiveness, and strife in this world.
Lisa Rost, via email
We want to hear from you! Write us at email@example.com. Please include where you live, and note that letters are edited for length and clarity.
Roadside wagons, farmyard-worn,
Sell bushel-loads of fresh-picked corn:
A dinner’s worth of golden sweetness, Coaxing summer toward completeness.