Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers address topics including enjoying Mother Nature, coping with stress, tackling racism, and more.

Yellowstone, Past and Present

I have just read “Yellowstone Without Us” (May 31) by Jeff Howe. My aging 72-year-old body with two total knee replacements wistfully remembered three life-changing summers spent working in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The day hike from Upper Falls along the east bank of the Yellowstone River to Fishing Bridge and then to Lake Hotel where I was working. Or the hike to Heart Lake and up Mount Sheridan in time to spend a lightning storm inside the ranger hut—and my twilight momma bear encounter on my way back to my car. And I smile at my own memories, and Howe’s tales. And I know our collective responsibility to do our best to see that such memories may be available to the generations that come after us.


Don Newlin, Bruce, Mississippi

I want to thank Howe for a story that was of special significance to me, and photographer Kent Vertrees for the picture of Slough Creek Meadows. When I was 39 years old, in 1979, I went fishing with a good friend [who has since died of cancer]. We drove from Chicago to Yellowstone and spent several days trying to catch trout. The fish were too experienced for us. An owner of a fly shop in West Yellowstone told us to hike up Slough Creek to a second meadow and fish for cutthroat. We camped overnight and woke the next morning to the best two days of fishing I have ever had. That picture brought back wonderful memories.

Jack Wisemiller, Plymouth

Pest Control

The ditching of Cape Cod’s salt marshes in the Depression allowed for more drainage with each tide, but that meant more of the mummichugs, which eat mosquito larva, are swept out with the water (“Ye Old Bug Prevention,” May 31). Marshes have taken thousands of years to form, a few millimeter a year, and at the current rate of sea rise will not be able to be sustained. The ditching has not helped this process. Personal protection still remains the best mosquito defense, as well as removing standing water around the yard.


Mary J. Metzger, Ayer

Unexpected Amusement

Adorable Connections story (“Babe: The Zucchini That Stole Our Hearts,” June 7). I was an avid gardener in Hull, with zucchini being a backyard summer staple. When the squash went rogue, we made zucchini bread, ratatouille, and curries—while thinking how creative we were—but this tops them all.

Margie Peters, Sanibel, Florida

I am so happy that others are entertained by finding inanimate and mundane—but meaningful—things. An empty paper roll became, for a while, our excitement during the early days of the pandemic. Ms. TP was mundane, but a truly meaningful representation of the need to laugh at the lack of a necessary product. Each morning when she was discovered in her new hiding place, much-needed shared laughter ensued. What a gift. Sadly, she lost interest in the game when a surplus resulted in her finding the love of her life, Mr. TP.

Diane Campbell, Brewster

Stress During a Pandemic

In “Welcome to Burnout Nation, Where Everything is Not OK” (June 7), Alyssa Giacobbe says: “There’s a heavy mental load to simply existing right now. Outside structures that were critical to balancing and de-stressing, such as spin class or coffee with friends, are gone, replaced by an endless loop of just getting through today, which feels a lot like yesterday and will probably feel a lot like tomorrow, too.” Excellent article—I too have found myself spent at the end of the day for no real apparent reason. Physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued. This [pandemic] has stressed every aspect of our lives, and those of the people we love. Health, money/income (which provides for security), even going to the store for food have become front and center on a constant basis. Those all fit in with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.


jdb472, posted on bostonglobe.com

A Path Toward Understanding

Right on for the Perspective on white people and racism (“What Too Many White People Still Don’t Understand About Racism,” June 14). History/civics in public schools should be a requirement—to teach the real American history. It isn’t the only answer, but it is a start. One has to know what is wrong to try to fix it.

Leon Cantor, Cambridge

We will not solve racism until we turn from discussing black versus white to discussing what is right versus what is wrong. What happened to George Floyd is wrong. Protesting that act is right. Prosecuting the police officer is right. Looting businesses is wrong. Grouping all police officers as the source of the problem is wrong. Identifying police officers who do wrong and changing civil service rules to allow them to be fired is right. Until we look at the problems in this way, we will be stuck in an endless argument that unfortunately many will capitalize on for political purposes.


g-inthebag, posted on bostonglobe.com

The article is a wake-up call to all school systems, institutions of higher education, and professional schools. Long overdue, it is abundantly clear that anti-racism education, now and forever, must be an integral part of any and all curricula.

Kathleen Atkinson, Nahant

Too much of white America reacts more negatively to being called racist than racism itself. The alarm has been going off for over 400 years. But we keep hitting the snooze button.

dcpavs, posted on bostonglobe.com

Here’s what we need to think about: What can I do in my daily life to help with this problem? What do I need to rethink in terms of my own upbringing and experiences and internal prejudices—even if thinking about these issues causes me to admit things about myself that make me uncomfortable? This is the catalyst for change.

NADOROCK, posted on bostonglobe.com

I don’t think the solution to the country’s problems is having more white people read Faulkner novels. It would be helpful if people in different subcultures and demographic groups knew more about each others’ everyday experiences. It would be helpful to understand recent history that helps explain why some people are in poverty and some aren’t, and this isn’t evenly distributed. Simply shining a light on what awful things are actually happening has done more to motivate white allies to be outraged and demand political change than a hundred intentionally uncomfortable conversations about race.


cbeland, posted on bostonglobe.com


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