A few days ago, a young woman and a young man, one a college senior, the other a college junior, walked through the doors of Yankee for their first day as summer interns. Over my many years here, I’ve worked with dozens of interns and have never failed to learn from them, perhaps more over time than they learned from me. They bring youth, an eagerness to immerse themselves in whatever I ask them to do, a genuine glow of pride when they see their work translate to our pages. The working pulse of Yankee‘s daily life is new to them, and I get to see what goes on inside our Dublin offices with fresh eyes, almost as if I’ve come to a new town for a few days. The young woman’s name is Mirel, and she comes from my own alma mater, the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Within a few days she’s impressed everyone with her quiet focus as she’s tackled a major project for our winter issue. Readers will see her byline on this story in our January/February 2009 issue.
The young man’s name is Josh. He’s working with Yankee‘s Web team, the editors and designers who produce these pages, our online magazine. He’s 20 years old, and I’ve known him from the moment he was born. When he was a baby, I’d come into the office on a Sunday, turn on the copy machine, press his hand to the glass, and make a copy of his palm. Somewhere in my crowded office files, I have a whole set of palm prints from Josh and his brother.
When he was in fourth grade, I’d pick him up from school and he’d spend several hours doing his homework in a quiet corner of my office until we left for home, some 15 miles away. My life as writer and editor always intersected with his life, but always on the fringes of his own — the way it should be. But now, for the all-too-brief weeks of summer, our working hours link; we go to lunch together to the wonderful Dublin General Store, and we sit outside on the store’s porch and catch up with what he’s doing. Right now he’s working on putting new links into our foliage tours. The other day he worked on finding the best sand castle competitions. What he does in his hours here will reach so many of you who come to this site; I try to not let him know what a big deal this is for me.
My mentor at Yankee since I arrived in the fall of 1979 has been Judson Hale. Jud is now into his 70s, and when he comes to our senior management meetings he sees his nephew Jamie Trowbridge running the meeting as Yankee Publishing’s president, and he sees his son, JD Hale, sitting there as Yankee’s publisher. I don’t think I ever fully understood the pride he must feel until the day I saw Josh walk through Yankee‘s door the other day.
It was one of the best Father’s Days I’ve known.
Yankee editor Mel Allen is the author of A Coach’s Letter to His Son.