Dear Yankee | March/April 2020

Readers respond to their favorite Yankee magazine articles.

By Yankee Magazine

Feb 18 2020


State of Happiness

Howard Mansfield’s “Finding New Hampshire” [January/February] is a step forward for our state, to encourage folks to return and discover. Thank you for the clear portrayal of the place we live. It’s not just tourists who enjoy the foliage, beaches, and mountains; residents travel too, and in a unique way that’s another New Hampshire volunteer opportunity to support each other.

Yes, the first New England was a church and the second was a factory. I propose that the third New England is “the pursuit of happiness”—still.

Patty Smith Rye, New Hampshire

More Than a Pit Stop

I always look forward to curling up with Yankee and a cup of tea and diving deep into the articles, and it was with this same sense of anticipation that I looked at the cover of the January/February issue: “The Berkshires: An Insider’s Guide.” Having lived in Pittsfield and still visiting friends there often, I have a great affection for the area. I hoped this article would be different from many I’ve read, perhaps covering all of the Berkshires. Alas, it was not to be.

True to form, the article started in the north, with coverage of Williamstown, Mass MoCA, and the other arts institutions in the area, and then gave an extensive review of the sights of the south. The single mention of the heart of Berkshire County, Pittsfield, was the Lantern Bar & Grill.

Pittsfield is so much more than just a place to pass through on the way south. What about the Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, and Berkshire Museum? Independent shops like the Berkshire General Store, Dory & Ginger, and Miller Art Supply, among others? Dining institutions like Dottie’s, Patrick’s, and the Highland?

Although like any post-industrial city Pittsfield still has its challenges, it is a vibrant, hopeful city full of enough attractions to warrant more than the coverage it received in this article.

Kathleen Doherty Canterbury, New Hampshire

Second Sightings

I had a few chuckles reading “The Great Divide” [November/December]. As a town historian in upstate New York, I have heard similar stories of cougars in the woods. Just the other day, someone showed me a video of a “cougar” crossing a road near our town. It was a big animal, but there was only one thing missing—it had no tail! 

The cougar roamed the hills of New York state into the late 1880s but had disappeared by 1900. Some thought perhaps a small population was still living in a remote area of New York, but nobody ever found them, and in 2018 the cougar was declared extinct in New York state.

Yet the stories continue, and I’ve learned to listen without comment and keep an open mind.

Peg Ross Greene, New York

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