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Dear Yankee

by in Mar 2008
Dear Yankee
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An Artist Among Us

Thank you, Mel Allen, for the wonderful job you did with the Brendan Loughlin story [“Still Lifes,” January/February 2008, p. 16]. He’s my art teacher. I just love the ending, and I think you captured his generous and sincere nature. His mission is to spread light and joy. It’s so funny because he himself can’t believe what’s happening to him. Congratulations on a job well done.

Marjorie Tietjen, Killingworth, CT

The Marble Wars

I just finished reading the outstanding article “The Man Who Stole Hope” [January/February 2008, p. 98]. I’ve subscribed for more than a decade, and this article was a real surprise: news about my town and practically my home as well!

I’m a Franklin County, Vermont, native, and have been living in Swanton for the past 14 years, having purchased George Barney’s home on York Street. It’s filled with Swanton Red: floors, walls, windowsills, and thresholds, even in the basement. The focal points, however, are two marble fireplaces. One is Swanton Red, and the other is Proctor Green. I’ve always been intrigued and proud of this house’s history, but I had no idea of all that had transpired so recently.

And my association with this beloved stone doesn’t end with my residence. Interestingly, the first retail store that I owned in St. Albans, Vermont, had a 100 percent Swanton Red marble floor — very beautiful but very hard on the legs and feet! My second store, in Montpelier, Vermont, also had Swanton Red in the entrance. Keep up the great work!

Steve Salls, Swanton, VT

Cold-Weather Delights

Thank you for the “Adventure” article titled “The Lure of Ice Fishing” [January/February 2008, p. 44]. It brought back many happy memories of growing up in Maine. One of my earliest childhood memories is of ice fishing with Dad on Wyman Lake in Moscow, with the wind whipping us across the frozen expanse as we made our way to the ice shack. We ice skated while we waited for the trap to go off, then squeezed our family of five into the hut and watched the lake trout and salmon swim under the ice while we drank hot cocoa.

My father is an avid fisherman who has lived most of his life in Maine. He taught us a love of the outdoors. He dreams of that “one more time” trip to a wintry lake to ice fish. Don’t know whether he’ll make that trip again, but the memories of ice fishing on Wyman and Embden will always stay with his three children.

Deborah Blackwell, Cumming, GA

Berkshire Sights

Just received the November/December 2007 issue and went immediately to the feature on Pittsfield [“The Most Surprising City in New England,” p. 38]. It was a good article, but why no mention of historic Hoosac Tunnel and its museum? Not even among the “What to Do” items! The tunnel was an engineering marvel when it was built through the mountain in the late 1800s, and the museum chronicles its history.

Jack England, Naples, FL

The 4.75-mile Hoosac Tunnel, extending from the town of Florida to North Adams, north of Pittsfield, is indeed a local Berkshire Hills treasure. To learn more, visit Western Gateway Heritage State Park, 115 State St., North Adams (413-663-6312; dcr/parks/western/wghp.htm). The Berkshire Museum (39 South St., Pittsfield; 413-443-7171;, reopening March 29 after its winter renovation, also offers exhibit materials on the tunnel. The tunnel itself is an active railroad structure that is not open to the public. – Eds.

‘Angels’ Update

From the November 14, 2007, issue of The Brown Daily Herald: “When [Yankee Magazine] featured Rajiv Kumar ’05 MD ’09 … as one of its ‘2007 Angels Among Us’ [November/December, p. 122], the small piece prompted readers to give $5,000 to the Adopt a Doctor nonprofit Kumar founded as a Brown undergraduate … Kumar thinks the readers’ generosity may be thanks to the impending holiday season. ‘The [Yankee] article came at the right time,’ he said. ‘You never know how someone will hear about you.’ ” Our thanks to all the Yankee readers who donated to this worthy cause. -Eds.

Updated Thursday, February 21st, 2008

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