Interning at Yankee Magazine

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When I learned I had been accepted to an internship with a publishing company, I was envisioning a standardized office building: whitewashed walls, particle-board furniture, a spattering of those inspirational posters with captions like “teamwork” and “determination.”  If I was lucky, maybe I would even have a windowless cubicle of my own.

But Yankee Publishing is not that kind of place.  It’s located in the heart of Dublin, New Hampshire, a place that doesn’t get much more small-town New England.  I was familiar with the area from my childhood.  When I was growing up in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, my uncle would pile all five of us cousins in the pickup and hop the border to take us swimming at nearby Dublin Lake.  To get there, we would drive through downtown Dublin.  It’s not much more than a few seconds of library and town hall before it’s gone—probably one of the few places left in America that can still rightfully be called a “village.”

Dublin Sign

The center of Dublin Village, with the Dublin Town Hall in the background.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised, entering my new work place, that it felt more like the comfort of my grandmother’s house than an uptight office complex.  The building has the easygoing presence of a farmhouse, or a barn, and it flaunts the same country red.  Inside, the pine-paneled walls give the same impression.  It feels original, historic, and homey.  It feels like New England.

Yankee Office

The Yankee Publishing building in Dublin, NH.

With each day I came to understand the reasoning.  Yankee Magazine is a publication intensely involved with its own history.  Editor-in-Chief Jud Hale, whose uncle Rob Sagendorph started Yankee in 1935, is still on staff after 54 years. Sagendorph’s photo looks over the main stairwell here, and his vision remains in place.  Flipping through the back issues (they’re all on hand here at the office) is like traveling back in time.  Each page is a chronicle of New England’s past, its people and its culture.

Bound Magazines

Archived issues of Yankee Magazine, dating back to 1935.

Here at Yankee, that heritage is something to be proud of.  The break room holds a vintage Coke machine, where the cans still only cost fifty cents. Down the hall, an old oak office sign is on display, noticeably aged but beautifully preserved.  Most of the employees get their lunch down the street at the Dublin General Store, where a massive sandwich rings up fewer than five dollars.

Coke Machine

A vintage Coca-Cola machine, one of the treasures of Yankee’s break room.

But it’s not that this company is stuck in the past.  It’s something else.  Something in the fact that even the high tech Keurig machine serves Vermont local Green Mountain Coffee.  It’s about knowing where you come from.

That’s critical knowledge when you’re working towards the future.  The editors here plan their issues years in advance.  Imagine my amazement when they first started discussing projects for 2014—the issue due out next month hasn’t even been completed!  Then, in the same conversation, somebody else would reference an article printed in Yankee fifteen years ago.  Everyone here is looking simultaneously towards the past and into the future.  It’s all part of the timeless legacy that is Yankee Magazine.

Weathervane on Church

The weathervane of the Dublin Community Church (the view from my window here at Yankee.)

I’m finally starting to settle in to that strange rhythm.  My workstation isn’t exactly an office, but two of its three walls are made of real wood.  And it has a window.  I can’t see much from it, except the steeple of the nearby church, and the weathervane atop it.  But still, it’s a view.  And, if nothing else, I’ll always know where the winds of change are coming from.  And where they’re headed.

  • Kelsey-Great writing. I came across “Interning at Yankee Magazine” when I was searching the Yankee site for my 4th Grade science students. I’m so proud of you. -Mrs. R., JRB Elelmentary

  • Great reflection Kelsey. I agree with all the other commenters – you capture the essence of the Dublin, N.H. Yankee Magazine outpost with an insight only someone familiar with the area, and native of a town of Dublin’s character is able to do.

  • Kelsey, I really loved reading your blog tonight. We are always working on multiple deadlines, balancing the past and the future and trying to keep our creative minds stimulated in an attempt to bring fresh content to our pages. It’s not always easy and it’s certainly a challenge to keep it all straight. But I’m glad you reminded me how fun and rewarding working on and editorial team can be. Especially here at Yankee. We are glad and lucky to have you.

  • You really captured what it felt like to be associated with the Yankee family. I was only a contract worker there, blogging about the fall foliage but I got to visit the offices once a year (or more if I was lucky) and it always felt more like a big family when I came into Dublin…

    I can honestly say the best people I ever met.

    Jeff Foliage

  • Great post, Kelsey! I especially love your comments about how we simultaneously plan our issues way in advance but also constantly reference things from the past in our Edit meetings. It’s true! Glad to have you here.

  • You paint a lovely and accurate picture of the Yankee Magazine environment. Rare and to be treasured- especially in today’s impersonal, virtual work environment.

  • Kelsey> You’ve really captured and expressed in such a lovely way what it’s like to work at Yankee.


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