UPDATE: Florida Today has published an obituary.
The last time I saw Van Lewis, I had driven him to the Caltrain depot in San Francisco from Marilyn Milos’s place in the North Bay after she hosted a celebration following the Eleventh International Symposium on Circumcision and Human Rights. It was a warm September evening. I pulled up across the street from Caltrain. He got out. We shook hands. Then we bid farewell until the next symposium or protest or event we both assumed would bring us back together again eventually.
I felt a little bad leaving him there as it was getting dark, not knowing when the next train to San Carlos would pull out. I should have taken him to San Carlos, but I didn’t. He didn’t ask or assume. He just exhibited that same southern grace you can detect in the video below, thanking me for taking him that far in his soft spoken way. Regret.
Farewell, Van. Thank you for blazing a path for the rest of us who have followed you and taken up the cause to end the barbarism of circumcision.