True confessions: Deep secrets of Charlottesville's newsmakers

Debbie Ryan's career as UVA women's basketball coach was nearly cut short 25 years ago when she brought beer on the team bus. "That was a very poor idea on my part," she says in retrospect.

Brad Chandler may be famous as the tough Franklin Chandler & O'Bryan litigator, but he has a soft spot: for Goofy of Walt Disney movie fame.

What do former city councilor David Toscano and Virginia Film Festival director Richard Herskowitz have in common? Both say they were arrested for anti-Vietnam war demonstrations.

Not too surprisingly, the favorite TV show of politico types like Toscano, Meredith Richards, and Mitch Van Yahres is West Wing.

Although he denies he's a treehugger, Mayor Maurice Cox confesses that people may be surprised to know he doesn't have a driver's license. Hmmmm.

Poet Laureate and UVA professor emeritus George Garrett admits people find his "buoyant cheerfulness" annoying. Santa has the same problem with his ho-ho-hos.

Bill Clinton wasn't the only one who had problems with Paula Jones. Rutherford Institute founder John Whitehead says taking her lawsuit against Clinton was the worst trouble he ever got in.

It was his father who got him interested in politics, and it was his father who was responsible for Congressman Virgil Goode's most embarrassing moment. When faced with bad seats at a political rally, Goode Sr. yelled out, "They're not honoring the seat numbers. It's every man for himself," and dragged a red-faced young Virgil to a better spot.

Rita Mae Brown's most embarrassing moment also involved a parent: the mother whose Christian name Brown forgot at Cotillion, a mere day after she'd made her mom a cat-food sandwich loaded with mayo, pickles, and lettuce.

Winemaker Patricia Kluge is the only Hot Seat candidate whose most embarrassing moment took place while bending before the Queen of England. "Something happened as I curtsied," says Kluge. Don't worry; it was just a muddy knee.

After the Hot Seat on Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo revealed that the town's tough-looking chief goes by "Timmy," another startling revelation came out: Longo used to sport what a former Baltimore coworker calls a "Desi Arnez" hairdo. Longo responds to a request for pictures with, "How much are they worth?"

Here are two images we don't normally have of Board of Supervisors chair Sally Thomas: Driving the bright yellow Corvette she used to own, and giving birth unexpectedly at home.

Who would guess that UVA football legend and winningest coach George Welsh has a thing for Russian literature?

Even more surprising, apparently 50-year-old pundit Larry Sabato is a little sensitive about growing old. We could tell when he answered the question about his age with "none of your damn business" before finally fessing up. Or maybe it was his excitement over cryogenics.

Delegate Mitch Van Yahres contributed the funniest embarrassing moment: "When my lightning rod business was hit by lightning and destroyed."

Retired judge Steve Helvin acknowledges that he annoys people in a way that is unique to the judiciary: "I find a lot of them guilty."

When NAACP chairman and civil rights legend Julian Bond said that "the pathetic, vapid state of journalism" is one of the subjects that make him rant, we didn't take it personally. How else is the world going to know that his hosting of Saturday Night Live led to an encounter with O.J. Simpson? And Bond's favorite bumper sticker, the one given out at friend's first wedding that said "Honk If You've Been Married To " was one of our favorites, too.