Dear Yankee | May/June 2022

Readers respond to their favorite Yankee magazine articles.

By Yankee Magazine

May 02 2022


Road Rave

Reading Ben Hewitt’s essay “Rules of the Dirt Road” [March/April] reminds me that I have come full circle. I grew up on a dirt road in Arlington, Massachusetts, back in the ’50s and ’60s. I had no idea who took care of our road, but I remember that it was always the last one to be plowed, which allowed for some awesome sledding. After raising our family in New Jersey, I now live on another Massachusetts dirt road. As Mr. Hewitt writes, “At this stage of my life, [living on a dirt road] just feels like something that’s in me.” I totally agree.

Ann Piccolo Falmouth, Massachusetts

Season’s Greeting

Oh, my! The March/April Yankee arrived yesterday, and “The Ephemerals” immersed me in the time of year that will soon be upon us in the Northern Connecticut Valley of New Hampshire. Writer Rowan Jacobsen opened my eyes, my heart, and my brain to time and its inevitable passing. My heart feels full of the wonders of life, both past and present. Thank you for the words and photos; I’ll love spring more than ever.

Char Delabar Cornish, New Hampshire

Copy That

Bravo for your spotlight on New England’s community newspapers [“Hard-Pressed,” March/April]. I moved to Vermont in 2021 after a long stint at The Philadelphia Inquirer. I was struck by the quantity—and quality—of local newspapers and their vital role in the social contract.

I’m a consumer of—as well as a contributor to—the weekly Seven Days, which delivers an entertaining, informative package of news, features, and kick-ass investigative journalism. You can bet it’s a must-read for local and state officials; one only has to read the letters to the editor to see how engaged its readers are.

For me, Seven Days brought things full circle. My first gig was at the Staten Island Advance, the sole news provider to New York City’s forgotten borough. The editor required that I live on the island because, as he put it, “you’ll never understand the damn place if you don’t.”

I’m happy to be a Vermonter, as I strive to understand the damn place, and well pleased that it is served by a newspaper like Seven Days.

Steve Goldstein Shelburne, Vermont

Altered States

Being originally from Rhode Island, and growing up in nearby Seekonk, Massachusetts, I was drawn to the story “A Beach of One’s Own” [March/April], about Napatree Point in Westerly, Rhode Island. Upon reading it, I immediately noticed that the state graphic used at the start of the story didn’t look like the Rhode Island I know. Then it dawned on me: Someone had mistakenly inserted the graphic for Indiana. Yes, the two state outlines kind of, sort of look the same, but the giveaway was the split made by Narragansett Bay … it was not there. And after all, Rhode Island would probably not be called the Ocean State if it were not for beautiful Narragansett Bay.

I loved the story anyway!

Rick Ward Roslindale, Massachusetts

Dear Rick: You are indeed correct. A slip-up in our production process sent us, oh, about 700 miles off course. New England readers weren’t fooled, though, and neither were Midwestern ones. “Trying to attract Indiana Dunes National Park fans to come east?” wondered John Fazzari of Illinois. We regret this error and hope that the features that begin on pages 76 and 90 in this issue will find favor with our Rhode Island fans. (Please excuse us for not including any maps.) —The Editors

Saving Grace

Amid winter’s political strife at home, and war in Europe, it was a delight to learn of Abraham Schechter’s work saving and preserving thousands of photographs from the Portland Press Herald [“Keeping Time,” January/February]. As a retired journalist, amateur historian, and native New Englander, I found his efforts, and those of his senior-citizen helpers with keen memories of days gone by, an early burst of spring.

Mark Thompson Kensington, Maryland

We want to hear from you! Write to us at Please note that letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Photo Credit : Illustrationby D.A.W.

Aiming far, the family car

Drives past where many restrooms are,

But can’t resist the urge to stop

For ice cream with a curl on top.