Dear Yankee | January/February 2020

Readers respond to their favorite Yankee magazine articles.

By Yankee Magazine

Dec 27 2019


Cat Tales

Nice read on big cats in New England [“The Great Divide,” November/December], but:

I am a 78-year-old retired aerospace research scientist and Connecticut native who has spent thousands of hours in the mountains of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. About 15 years ago near our property in Whitefield, New Hampshire, I observed through my very high-powered rifle scope a large black bear coming down a logging road and flipping rotted logs to feed on grubs. The bear moved on, and within a few minutes, what comes into view at 100 yards but a mountain lion—in real life! It sniffed around the logs before heading off on a path away from the bear’s route.

Sorry, but mountain lions are here, just secluded.

Ben Granatek Hillsborough, New Hampshire

A Model New Englander

We’d like to join in with those who welcomed the return of Ben Hewitt’s family adventures [“Life in the Kingdom”]. But we also have a unique insight into how the Yankee columnist spent some of his time this summer. Ben generously agreed to appear in a fund-raising calendar to benefit the Varnum Memorial Library in Jeffersonville, Vermont. “Vermont Writers: Uncovered” features 13 authors and poets in tasteful nude art photos. Ben’s photo is sheer beauty for its simplicity: just a man and his chainsaw. The calendars can be found at; all proceeds benefit the library.

Deb Krempecke East Johnson, Vermont

All in the Family

What a happy surprise to discover in the November/December issue [“The Poet’s Son”] that Ben Hewitt’s father, Geof, is the poet with whom I once exchanged poems, having found his books in a cottage in Harpswell, Maine, that we both had rented for many years. Geof’s poems inspired me to let that locale be my muse. I spent many hours on a rocky outcrop attempting in free verse to capture that magical place. Thank you, Yankee and Ben Hewitt, for this happy memory.

Linda Law Clemson, South Carolina


Turns out, two shops in Middlebury, Vermont, got mixed up in our November/December issue [“Could You Live Here?”]. So if you want to browse eclectic gifts from Vermont and beyond, stop into Sweet Cecily, but if you hanker for cheese, maple syrup, and hefty fudge samples, head down the street to Vermont’s Own Products. (Better yet: Visit both!)

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