2/11/2008

My memories of Mitch Van Yahres

I'm new to the Charlottesville scene, relatively speaking.

In 2001, when I still lived in Roanoke, I drove up here to interview Mitch Van Yahres. He was the Delegate who had introduced the legislation to express the state's "profound regret" over its role in the eugenics movement. I was a reporter for WVTF working on a documentary project on eugenics. The legislation had passed, and I was doing a series of stories, retracing the excellent work of Roanoke Times reporter Mary Bishop.

When I worked at Court Square Tavern a few years later, I waited on him on several Saturdays. He and his wife would come in, and they would enjoy themselves. I never reminded him of the interview I did with him. That didn't seem appropriate. I believe he was still in the General Assembly at the time, and I didn't want to bug him.

I stayed up tonight to produce Coy Barefoot's tribute show to Mitch Van Yahres, so take a listen if you're interested in knowing more his life.

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