I was delighted to learn yesterday that Dwayne Yancey has been selected for membership in the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, class of 2018. He was selected as a journalist, though he has been increasing his stock in recent years as a playwright, one whose plays are being staged internationally and regularly.
Dwayne, a man who gives a whole new definition to the term “scruffy” (and who makes other journalists look less frumpy by comparison), is the editorial page editor of Roanoke’s daily newspaper. He is probably the best ever in that position, certainly the best since I’ve been in Roanoke (1971). His combination of superb writing skill, familiarity with the issues, deep sense of fairness (even to Trump, who doesn’t deserve it), and recognition of what’s important have made his essays a must-read, even though the local daily (owned by Berkshire Hathaway) is not heavily invested in taking political sides–a real shame, I’d say.
His plays, in which he often involves his entire family, have been growing in length, depth, frequency and importance in the past few years. They are quite literally performed worldwide and at any given moment, he will typically have two or three in production. He does that on the side and anybody who has worked with Dwayne will tell you that his free time must be minimal because of the vast amounts of time and energy he puts into his day job. He has always been an embarrassment to his co-workers, who couldn’t keep up his pace.
Dwayne’s book When Hell Froze Over, about Doug Wilder becoming Virginia’s first black governor, was a huge regional hit, but it is as a journalist that he was ushered into the Hall of Fame. We are now teammates in that sense (I was inducted in 2010), so I welcome Dwayne as a new member.