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Letter from Ronald Sokol to Daniel Meador, Thursday, October 5, 1995

Ronald P. Sokol
15, Chemin du Castellas
13540 Puyricard
France

Professor Daniel J. Meador
University of Virginia
School of Law
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
U.S.A.

Thursday, 05 October, 1995

Dear Dan,

I received HCD Writings and Speeches about a week ago but have delayed replying
because I wanted to dip into it. I have done more; I have already read about three-quarters
of it.

You have done a truly remarkable service to the profession, dare I say mankind. It is an
astonishing book, far better than I had anticipated. I have always felt that Dillard was one
of the two greatest speakers I ever had the privilege to hear. [The other curiously enough
was a Mexican professor who lectured in English at the University of Mexico]. For the
entire first year Dillard kept me on the edge of my seat three times a week as he set in
motion trains of thought. I subsequently took all of his other courses. The other courses,
though good, were not nearly as good as his contracts course, but I nonetheless had
enormous admiration for the man. Although I also read a number of his law review articles
I never felt that he came across very well in print. But the writings you have collected do
show the man and have caused me to change my mind. The book is to me a veritable
treasure. Your preface and introduction are superb and give something of the flavor of the
man. Although I admire all that you have written, this may well turn out to be one of your
most important works, if not the most important.

I could have added a few stories of my own, such as my initial interview at the Law
School in 1959 when I was either 19 or 20. I had decided to leave Duke after just three
years without a degree and wanted to stay in the South. I thus applied to Duke, Tulane
and Virginia. I went first to see Dean Latty at Duke as that was the simplest, but I told
him I was seriously interested in Virginia. “Go there at once and look it over,” he said.
And so I did. Emerson Spies interviewed me first and then took me into Dillard’s office
and left me there.

Thursday, 05 October, 1995
MEADOR.DOC……………………………………….. Page 1 .

Hardy was reading the sports page of the local newspaper when I arrived upon the scene.
For a while he said nothing. Finally, he looked up and began to remark upon how curious
it was that the current baseball players all had Puerto Rican names. He then observed how
the players at the beginning of the century had German names-Wagner, Ruth, and I can’t
recall who else he mentioned. Then, he said, the names changed in time to Italian–
Dimaggio, Rizzuto and others. “You can trace our immigration in the baseball scores,” he
said or something similar. I, a knowledgeable and eager baseball fan at that time, was
bowled over by the fact that the man sitting in front of me read the sports pages in terms
of understanding immigration, sociology and history. That is all I recall of the interview,
but I felt immediately and intensely that this was where I wanted to be. This was the man I
was looking for.

The book is very nicely printed and bound, but I wonder if there is not a place for a deluxe
edition, perhaps leather bound, for alumni like myself who are fervent admirers of Hardy.

I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying the book and how grateful I am to you for putting
it together.

Sincerely yours,

[handwritten signature]

Ronald P. Sokol

Thursday, 05 October, 1995
MEADOR.DOC………………………………………. Page 2 .

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