Inside Yankee: January/February 2010
Throughout 2010 we’re celebrating Yankee‘s 75th year. We’re both proud of and humbled by this achievement. All during the year we’ll pay tribute to the legacy of the New England stories we’ve been publishing since 1935. One reason I love our Web site, Yankee Magazine.com, is that we can put so much content on it, while keeping these pages here in front of you for new features and photographs.
So a lot (but not all) of our 75th anniversary celebration will take place right on your computer. Each weekday throughout 2010, we’ll post a classic article from Yankee‘s hundreds of issues, focusing on the types of stories our readers have loved most: Monday, adventure; Tuesday, history; Wednesday, food and recipes; Thursday, people and places; and Friday, “three-minute reads” (my favorite short pieces).
I just passed my own 30th anniversary here, and it was great fun to spend long days with all the past Yankee issues spread out across a room, finding the treasures that the editors who’d come before me had loved so much.
On that note, each new issue begins a life of its own–which brings me to the scratchy subject of change. I know only too well how New Englanders distrust change. So when we go about tweaking these pages, we do so with the same care we show when we venture out on a frozen pond for the first time.
Still, we like the tweaks we’ve made here: just enough to make these pages more entertaining and useful. We’ve expanded “Knowledge & Wisdom”; we’ve given more oomph to our “Best 5“; and our last page will now spotlight some special piece of New England. Here we’ll show you familiar things in a new way–for instance, the tropical greenhouse at Smith College. Who knew you could while away a New England winter’s day reading beneath palm trees, with a gurgling waterfall for company?
In Yankee‘s first issue (September 1935), founder Robb Sagendorph wrote, “[The Yankee] sees himself, his sons and daughters … on the edge of a civilization which demands mass production, mass distribution, mass advertising, and mass almost-everything-you-can-think-of …” He wanted a magazine that would explore this region’s unique identity and qualities.
Now all these decades later, Bill McKibben’s new series, “How New England Can Change the World“, explores what we can learn from local communities that have taken responsibility for making their own corner of the planet work better. Robb Sagendorph would have loved publishing it.