Yankee‘s spring issue (March/April) leaves our Dublin, N.H., offices soon, on its way to the printing plant where in the next few weeks the intricate process of getting a magazine printed, bound, and on its way to readers takes place. This is a sneak peek. Of course I am close to the contents since I have read and reread, and reread once again, every page, looked at every photo, scrutinized every caption. I am as partial to these pages as a parent is to a child. Having made that disclaimer, I am here to let you know — there is a wonderful issue coming soon to your mailbox and newsstand. Here’s why.
The cover is more playful than any cover I can remember. I won’t give it away, but its intent is to capture in a single image the feeling we usually share around March — that enough is enough and we just want spring to arrive. (Now remember we plan way ahead. We didn’t know that we may be living in the winter without winter — though as I mentioned last week, I am doing my best to invite real winter back to New England.)
I have learned these past few weeks that Yankee readers are not shy about letting me know your feelings (hope the “Fire Mel Allen” campaign that a few readers started is not picking up too much steam), so I fully expect to hear your thoughts on our cover.
“Mary’s Farm,” as always, is both delightful and wise. Our Travel section will entice readers to visit our cities, but not for the usual reasons. We also take you to a Maine inn that you won’t want to leave. The writer we assigned to visit this lovely getaway called me and said, “I’ve been all over the world, and this is one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed.” We like to showcase inns that are decidedly more affordable off-season, a distinctly Yankee way to travel.
If you have ever read one of Jan Brett’s illustrated books to your children you know she is one of the most inventive children’s writer/illustrators we have. In our Home section we take you inside the house where she creates her books. And the gardeners among you will want to meet another woman, one who never complains when moss grows under her feet. We’ll tell you why.
Did you know that the number one daydream of Americans is to run their own restaurant? Well, if that has been your dream, we have a food story that tells you where to start your quest in New England.
We’ve also been receiving wonderful response to our “Best Cook in Town” series. You are sending us great tips about local cooks you know. In the spring issue, we’ll take you inside the kitchen of a Massachusetts woman who longs for her native Greece and captures the flavors of her homeland in the recipes she shares.
We also take you on a photographic journey into the heart of Massachusetts’s magnificent Quabbin wilderness. The Moseyer will quiz you to see if, once and for all, you really want to live in an old house. And one of my favorite writers, Castle Freeman of Vermont, ponders how much should you pay to have a view of a mountain.
I’ve saved for last what for me is the best. Last summer, I taught a writing class in Concord, New Hampshire. There were 12 adults in the class. Only two men. One of the men was an artist who lived in the Upper Connecticut Valley, not far from Dartmouth College. His name was Thom Rock and I remember in the first class he admitted he felt somewhat intimidated, since all the other people had writing experience. A few weeks went by and he turned in his first story.
The way I ran the class, one writer read his/her story each week. When Thom read, I glanced around the room and everyone had tears in their eyes. His true tale of looking for his birth mother showed that artistry definitely transfers from paint to a computer. The story is in Yankee, called “Baby Boy #3331,” and I think you, too, will be touched by its grace and honesty.
See you next week.
Mel Allen is editor of Yankee Magazine and author of A Coach’s Letter to His Son.