Dear Yankee | September/October 2020

Readers respond to their favorite Yankee magazine articles.

By Yankee Magazine

Aug 03 2020


Reading Notes

As I sit quietly outside in the early morning with my coffee and my latest issue of Yankee, I’m struck by how often I pause and reflect on what I’m reading. I absorb stories (a few written by friends), ponder over provoking issues, and make lists of new places to visit.

Mostly, I think about how long Yankee has been a part of my life. In these exhausting and emotional recent months, every issue, even back ones, is a life preserver.

Kim Benedix
Somers, Connecticut

Beyond the Byline

Today I opened the May/June issue of Yankee and stopped at the First Person essay. It immediately captivated me. When I looked up at the author’s byline, I thought: Of course, it’s Brian.

And then I became puzzled. The Brian Doyle I know, who writes like the Brian Doyle of this essay, died in 2017. He was editor of the University of Portland alumni magazine in addition to writing for many other publications and publishing novels. He was a great mentor to all of us who labored at universities around the country, working diligently to make our publications relevant and enticing to readers.

Perhaps there are two Brian Doyles in this country who have such a gift with words. If that is the case, we all are blessed…. It is a beautiful piece and accompanied by an equally beautiful piece of art. Whatever its source, thank you for sharing it with your readers.

Sally G. Atwood Hamilton
Walpole, Maine

Editors’ note: “On Islandness” was indeed written by your mentor, Brian Doyle, one of America’s most prized essayists. He passed away after submitting the piece, which his wife, Mary, gave Yankee permission to publish this spring, saying, “This is exactly the time this essay was meant to be given to the world.” The May/June editor’s letter had included this information but was rewritten at press time to address COVID-19. We are glad to share those details here—along with a mention of the lovely collection of his work published last year, One Long River of Song.

For the Record

I lived and worked in Lowell, Massachusetts, for 17 years, and served as director of the St. Julie Asian Center there. The Cambodian community in Lowell will always hold a special place in my heart, and I would like to make one correction to your article about it [“Welcome to Cambodia Town,” May/June]. The first Cambodian Lowell city councilor was Chanrithy Uong, in 1999. In fact, he was the first Cambodian elected to public office in the U.S.

Thank you for your continued great work in presenting life in New England.

Sister Janet Deaett
Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Photo Credit : Indian Hill Press


Though sleeping late
is not a virtue.

Once a year it doesn’t
hurt you.

Lie there, snoring
like an ox…

October just turned
back the clocks!


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