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Perusing the Yankee Index

Perusing the Yankee Index
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Not every story that runs in Yankee is a “Yankee Story.” The term is reserved for stories that are a little bizarre, a little cryptic, or those that are just plain crazy. My recent feature, “The Memory Keeper,” fell into this category. When I originally pitched the idea at one of our meetings, I had a hard time explaining it to my co-workers. “It’s like genealogy, but…you know…exciting!” Yankee Story. I had a similar experience with my short profile on FetchStix. “It’s great guys, they sell maple sticks as boutique dog toys!” Yankee Story.Yankee Stories are the stories that other magazines won’t run. They’re the ones whose appeal is not immediately self-evident. They’re the risky ones, the ones that might fall apart, the ones we know we should say no to, but we just love too much. In order to understand and appreciate a Yankee Story, you have to really engage with it and trust the writer enough to allow them to take you to some very strange places, all with the promise that it will make sense in the end. The only reason we’re able to get away with running these is that, unlike many magazines, we have a readership that actually enjoys reading (thanks for that, by the way).

These are the stories that make Yankee unique. They’re compelling, thought provoking, daring, and, unfortunately, hard to summarize. As a result, our index is littered with entries like

Ghost, dead woman’s slipper found by bicyclist at Mass. Inn, Oct. 66, p. 66

and

Christmas, St. Croix Island 1604, probably one of most miserable ever celebrated in North America, Dec. 91, p. 98

and

Parker, Arthur H., First Atom Bomb, The, humor, Jan. 47, p. 24.

Our profiles are by far the most quizzical. Over the last 76 years we’ve brought readers into the lives of the likes of:

Hoffman, Winona Ayers, the birthday lady, observes over 3,000 birthdays and anniversaries of relatives and friends each year, Sept. 90, p. 19

Justin Shatwell

Author:

Justin Shatwell

Biography:

Justin Shatwell is a longtime contributor to Yankee Magazine whose work explores the unique history, culture, and art that sets New England apart from the rest of the world. His article, The Memory Keeper (March/April 2011 issue), was named a finalist for profile of the year by the City and Regional Magazine Association.
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