Episode Description

This week, we’re bringing you an episode from another podcast hosted and produced by Katie Hafner, Our Mothers Ourselves. It’s a show that celebrates extraordinary mothers through conversations with their children. In this episode, Katie speaks with Yvonne Young Clark’s daughter, Carol Lawson.

We hope you enjoy this episode of Our Mothers Ourselves, “The ‘Relentlessly Positive’ Yvonne Young Clark: An Interview with Y.Y.'s Daughter, Carol Lawson.”

Episode Transcript

The "Relentlessly Positive" Yvonne Young Clark: An Interview with Y.Y.'s Daughter, Carol Lawson

Our Mothers Ourselves is produced for the ear. Where possible, we recommend listening to the audio for the most accurate representation of what was said.

INTRODUCTION (MULTIPLE VOICES): My mother was a woman of tremendous integrity. My mother was curious, sensitive, compassionate, honest, always there for us. Unflappable, loyal, complicated. She is devoted, resilient, dazzling, giving, vivacious, extraordinary.

CAROL LAWSON: The ‘aha’ moment for me was when I heard about the NASA and I said, wait, hold, hold. Um, sorry, I'm sorry, excuse me. I think I heard you say you worked for NASA.

And she says, Oh yeah, I did the, the Saturn V rocket and worked on the hotspot.

I said, I'm sorry. We're gonna have to sit down and talk about this because you can't just say that like, I need a bottle of milk outta the refrigerator. You can't do me like that.


KATIE HAFNER: I'm Katie Hafner, and this is Our Mothers Ourselves.

Sometimes you just can't get enough of a good thing. I have felt that way for the entire six months that we at Lost Women of Science spent working on our season about Y.Y. Clark. The very first time I heard Y.Y.’s voice, I was smitten.

Y.Y. CLARK: We would make planes. We build planes. You would go out on the fire escape, roll your propeller, and then aim it at the football field and watch it fly.

CAROL LAWSON: So that's kind of where the whole spark was.

Y.Y. CLARK: Mmmhmm.

CAROL LAWSON: The spark was began.

Y.Y. CLARK: Yes.

KATIE HAFNER: Yes. That's from a Story Corps interview she did in 2007 with her daughter Carol Lawson, when Y.Y. was 78.

And hearing the mother-daughter interaction really did make me think what kind of mother was the brilliant, unflappable, Yvonne Young Clark. Carol Lawson is a pharmaceutical rep and she lives outside of Seattle. We recorded this interview a few weeks ago.

KATIE HAFNER: Carol Lawson, thank you so much for coming onto Our Mothers Ourselves to talk to me about your amazing mother, Y.Y. Clark.

CAROL LAWSON: Thank you so much for having me, Katie. I am just thrilled to be able to have this conversation with you. I'm just thrilled to death.

KATIE HAFNER: So the very first thing I want to do is, uh, so I ask pretty much every guest, if you were to describe your mother using one word, what would that word be?

CAROL LAWSON: I've thought about this a lot, and I think, um, the word I would use is, trailblazer. I think it really just encapsulates her, her legacy and all the things that she's accomplished.

KATIE HAFNER: Yeah, I, I will second that. I think that now that I feel like I know her after a full season, but this, this segment is really about her as a mom. But before we talk about that, I wanna do kind of a, a rapid fire biography of her. I'm assuming people who listen to this will have heard the story of your mom's life. But let's start out and, and do it as quickly as we can, like all the highlights. Born…



CAROL LAWSON: 1929, uh, April 13th in Houston, Texas, and mother was Hortense Houston Young and father was, uh, C. Milton or Coleman Milton Young, um, they moved to Louisville and she had a brother, C. Milton Young III and lived there, um, until she got married and, um, married my father.

And then since moved to Nashville, she was, uh, a granted admission to University of Louisville.


CAROL LAWSON: in their, uh, for, um, engineering, an engineering degree.


CAROL LAWSON: However, um, as soon as they found out that she was Black, they rescinded the offer and, um, because her parents were, um, educated enough to understand that that was, you know, uh, a violation of her civil rights.

They, uh, kind of balked at that and threatened to take this school to, to court and were able to come to a resolution that they, the school would pay for her to go to another school. So, um, she ended up matriculating at Howard University.


CAROL LAWSON: Um, while at Howard, she was the only black female in the mechanical engineering department.

Howard is a historically black university. Mm-hmm. , but she was the only female to graduate in a class of, um, 300 engineering students.


CAROL LAWSON: um, because of the sexism of the day. She wasn't allowed to march with the rest of the class, so she actually received her diploma in the office of the president.

That was in 1951. And, um, it's, it's, it, it just goes on and on and on.


CAROL LAWSON: I mean, she was the first black female to get a degree in engineering science at Vanderbilt University. First African American member of the Society of Women Engineers, worked with the, uh, aerospace engineers, um, and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Um, and, and on the Saturn V Rocket booster engines.


CAROL LAWSON: um, I mean, just on and on. And I, you know, it gets. It gets a little redundant, but it, you wanna say it all, but it's so amazing, so much that she did in one lifetime. In one lifetime, and she just kept on going!

KATIE HAFNER: And while she was in this classic double bind, meaning both sexism and racism, staring like straight in the face of these things.

So she marries your dad. How did she meet your dad, by the way?

CAROL LAWSON: Yeah, so they met, um, a, a, a friend of mom’s, and it actually might have been a relative, I'm not sure, um, mentioned dad to her and she came up to Nashville for a football game and he was there and they met and Dad was quite striking. And, um, she knew that there would be a lot of interest.

He would have a lot of suitors interested in him. Not that she didn't think she had a chance. But she knew, you know, the, his, his, his, his card would be full.


CAROL LAWSON: And so she, um, I don't remember all of the specific details, but I think she told her friend to let him know when she would be back in town again.


CAROL LAWSON: And it so happened, um, long story short, he sent her six roses, I think, and said, you'll get the next six when you come back.

KATIE HAFNER: Oh, that is so sweet. Yeah, so sweet. And so he, but it's, it also sounds like he was not just romantic, but super supportive of her career. Is that right?

CAROL LAWSON: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

So I believe that the, the real benefit from speaking about the trials, the struggles, the things that the women had to overcome to do all that they did, helps make them more real.


CAROL LAWSON: to those of us looking at all their accomplishments.


CAROL LAWSON: Okay. Because if you look at my mom and all of her accomplishments, she looks like a superwoman.

Like I can do everything and anything, and nothing can stop me. But if you peel back that, those, like the layer of an onion and look underneath, you see that she suffered with stuttering.


CAROL LAWSON: Okay. And, and, and, and if you know anyone, anyone who's ever stuttered in your, just even in passing,


CAROL LAWSON: It is painful. Yeah, it is. It is the mo, I mean it from my perspective, obviously loving someone who has been a stutterer and seeing how people treat them.


CAROL LAWSON: It is just appalling. The how, how the worst of us comes out. Then understanding, you know, just the amount of grit it takes to overcome that and keep pushing and not pull you down.


CAROL LAWSON: I think that speaks to helping the rest of us who, you know, and, and I'm, I'm, I don't mean to, you know, dismiss any troubles anybody goes through, but we get a, a, a thumbnail, you know, prick and we're ready to buckle. Okay.


CAROL LAWSON: Versus, you know, some of the things they've had to endure, like, wow, if she could do that…


CAROL LAWSON: through all of those troubles, maybe I can endure.


CAROL LAWSON: Look, it's not gonna be easy, but you still have to per. persevere.

KATIE HAFNER: What is your very first memory of your mother?

CAROL LAWSON: One of the things that, uh, sticks in my mind is, um, my mom had a ‘69 Firebird, which she was very proud of, and it was a, it was a convertible and it was a really very, very cool car.

Everyone wanted to see the Firebird. And so when they came by and, um, she was outside and one of the fellas said, you know, so I'm, I'm assuming you've changed the oil in this. And she said, well, you know, I did, um, you know, last, last month I did. And um, I was like, in my brain, I was like, wow. You did.

KATIE HAFNER: How old were, how old were you, do you remember?

CAROL LAWSON: And so I was, um, I was 7, 8, 9, somewhere in there old enough to understand what, you know, getting dirty around a car would entail as far as, you know, changing the oil, but not realizing that that was not something that every mother did. Mm-hmm. And understanding that from that point, fast forwarding, you know, 10, 15 years when I have my own car now.

And knowing you're gonna know how to change your oil, you're gonna know, you know how to change a tire or at least have the tools available to change a tire if you need to. And your emergency kit's gonna be in the back of the car cuz you're gonna understand the mechanics of this car.


CAROL LAWSON: And, um, it was just funny.

She, she was such a car person. Um, she had driving gloves. I mean, she was just that chick who, if, you know, if, if, uh, race car driving was an option for her generation, I think she probably would've been one of those. That would've been in her repertoire, as well.

KATIE HAFNER: And she did all the driving in the family.

CAROL LAWSON: Right. All the driving that is just.

KATIE HAFNER: That is just… I love that.

CAROL LAWSON: I know, right?

KATIE HAFNER: And, and your dad didn't feel emasculated or diminished in any way? Just probably proud. Just proud.

CAROL LAWSON: Oh, absolutely. And, and, and that was the guy he was because, um, his father was not excited at all about, um, mom's, uh,

KATIE HAFNER: Right. Career path. Right. They had a big falling out. Your, your dad and his dad.

CAROL LAWSON: Absolutely. Mm-hmm. and, um, his dad was a, a physician and, um, prominent in the Houston, it was, it was a big deal for him to kinda, you know, say, you know, what dad does is who a loves I'm gonna be with. So, you know…

KATIE HAFNER: and what, what your grandfather, what your father's father objected to was that your mother was so ambitious, right?

CAROL LAWSON: Correct. In a, in a male. Exactly. He, her, his opinion was a woman's place is in the house.

KATIE HAFNER: How would you characterize the way your mom and your dad interacted or got along and were they a good role model of a, of a, of a good marriage?

CAROL LAWSON: Yeah, so I would say absolutely, um, a, a, a dynamic of, um, teamwork. They were past their, excuse me, they were older parents for me, so, um, they.

I, I say this lovingly, but, um, I think Milton had, all, my brother had all the fun with them, and not that we didn't have fun, please don't, don't, don't let me, you know, lead you down that path. But I was, um, she, she reminded me, um, on a couple of occasions, you do know, um, we had added onto the house, bought a new car, um, and then you showed up.

And so, you know, and, and there's an 11 year gap between me and my brother.

KATIE HAFNER: Oh, uh huh.

CAROL LAWSON: So, yeah. So they had figured out we're not gonna have any more kids . Oops. And then I came, I was like, well, I'm better late than never. Right?


CAROL LAWSON: So, um, they were, um, definitely, um, professors, so they talked a lot.


CAROL LAWSON: Um, they worked through problems, they. You know, basically worked as a team to walk, walk through things and, you know, as a teenager, you know, growing up in a household with professors, um, I, I didn't have the patience to, you know, tune in to a whole lot of these conversations. So, um, a lot of that went right over my head, but I do recognize the civility with which those conversations took place and the fact that it was always around, how can we work this out?

But mom was really the driving force on, they had bought the houses behind our house and they, um, owned them and, and rented them out to students at Tennessee State University. And so a lot of things revolved around those houses. So it was, you know, do we need to fix this?


CAROL LAWSON: Do we need to, you know, get a new tenant? All those things that go along with having,

KATIE HAFNER: Right. And your mom did all the, she could fix anything, right?

CAROL LAWSON: Yes, fix anything.

KATIE HAFNER: Going back to a very young age when she fixed the family toaster when she was nine. We interviewed someone who was a colleague of hers who said that actually your parents. They were her landlord and she lived next door and she, uh, and she said that, uh, Y.Y. would be over all the time with her toolbox.

Just she could, anything that needed fixing, she could fix. Which is…

CAROL LAWSON: Absolutely, I mean, she was fearless in that, in that regard. I don't know if, um, you know, uh, heavy duty plumbing was in her repertoire, but electrical, obviously mechanical, um, yeah, HVAC. Yeah. She's like, I got this. Yeah.

KATIE HAFNER: And what you I think have said before is that she was strict about homework and particularly, your penmanship.

CAROL LAWSON: Penmanship. Right, right.

KATIE HAFNER: What, what, what was the problem and how, what was the solution?

CAROL LAWSON: So, um, I think her hope was that, um, I would take, well her, her, her request was for me to take mechanical drawing, and I did in high school. And I think the hope behind that was I would get a little fire about, you know, getting into mechanical engineering somehow.


CAROL LAWSON: However, that side of my brain is not… active.

KATIE HAFNER: Mm-hmm… Okay.

CAROL LAWSON: It just doesn't work like that. No. So it didn't happen, but I did have poor penmanship. Um, I went to a Catholic school, and I don't know if you know this, but in, in the school I went to when you did anything wrong, um, you had to do write offs. So I learned to write very fast.


CAROL LAWSON: And the downside of that is my penmanship suffered. And, um, so she saw that, you know, she's like, oh, we gotta fix this. And interestingly, this goes back to her upbringing because in her world, penmanship was a huge deal. Mm-hmm. because when she was, when she was starting school, she was left handed and the, um, nuns made saw that she wrote left-handed and made her switch her hands to right-handed.


CAROL LAWSON: Well that whole thing is what started her to stutter. Which started the whole path of, you know, all of the, uh, teasing and everything from her classmates and everything like that. So to her, penmanship was a big deal. So for me to have poor penmanship was a big deal.


CAROL LAWSON: And I didn't know any of that. And so now I'm very clear on why she was so adamant that my penmanship got better.

And from this day, un until her last breath, anytime I wrote anything, she's like, is that a m or N? What is, what is that? I was like, it's a m. Of course it's a M.

KATIE HAFNER: It's tough.

CAROL LAWSON: Yeah. And, and then she was joking obviously, right? Because you know, she knew that that boat had long passed. But you know, it's very interesting how that episode so early in her life actually, you know, put her on the trajectory that it did.

KATIE HAFNER: She would take you to work with her sometimes, right?

CAROL LAWSON: Absolutely. And, and they, and they both did actually. Um, and I, I believe I benefited from that because I was actually able to see them outside of just being mom and dad.


CAROL LAWSON: Which I think is helpful for any child. Um, because you get all wrapped up in the cocoon of it's all about me as a child. And once you break out of that and see your parent as a function, a member of society, and serving the greater good and beholden to other individuals who have nothing to do with you and the impact that they make on those individuals, it just shifts your focus a little bit and say, Hmm, wow.

And I promise you that did so much for me because of all of these students. And I saw how she dealt with them. I saw how they asked her questions. I saw, I mean, they were, I mean, they loved her. I could tell that. They come in her office, Ms. Clark, I've got this thing, blah, blah, blah, whatever, my, my, my paper, my other teacher, my professor, my student loan. What am I gonna do?

And she would say, okay, stop that. So it's calm down. Here's some tissue, here's a box of tissue. Stop crying. I can't hear, I can't understand you. Relax. And I'm like, wow. Wow.

KATIE HAFNER: But she didn't go all soft on them.

CAROL LAWSON: Never, never. And, and, and, but she still, you still felt the compassion.


CAROL LAWSON: That was her superpower. I think she would never get down there in the emotions with you. But you still felt her compassion.

KATIE HAFNER: And was that true? Was she that way as a parent as well? Oh,

CAROL LAWSON: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I remember I had a breakup one time and I, and because of the parent she was, I did not, I knew better than to bring any dummies home, um, cause I knew they'd get sliced up and sent right back out the door.

KATIE HAFNER: No stupid boyfriends!

CAROL LAWSON: Right, exactly. But, um, I did have a couple breakups and, um, I remember one and, uh, it, it actually had just happened. Just gotten home and she walked in and she's like, what's wrong? And I was like, nothing… And she's like, well, um, that's not right.


CAROL LAWSON: She got the box of tissues and she's like, what's wrong honey? And I was like, it's over like, like. Well, are you sure it's over? I like, I think so. And, and in the end it wasn't over, but she helped me kind of talk through it and it was a, it was a lovely memory and it was, it's one of those things of, you know, wow.

I, I could have leaned on you a little bit more with these little breakups, but, you know, I'm glad I I did at least once.

KATIE HAFNER: Mm. And so how would you say she shaped you as a, as a person?

CAROL LAWSON: Oh, I'm so glad you asked that because, um, my daughter, um, has said to me a couple times, and I, I think I definitely agree that I am relentlessly positive and I know 110% that I get that from my mom.


CAROL LAWSON: Because what I saw in her, or what she just exemplified was there's always a way. It might not be evident, it might not be right there in front of your face, but there's always a way.

And if you take, if you, if you just take the time to either sit back, think, have some patience, tither get some counseling, somebody else who either has better knowledge of the situation or take it from a different approach, there is a way. And I think that right there has grounded me in the fact that just because I can't see a way out, can't see a way in, can't see a way through right this second, does not mean that there's not a way through this situation into what I want. And, um, from that, from that perspective, I believe there's nothing I can't do. And, and that's just where I sit.


CAROL LAWSON: All the time.

KATIE HAFNER: That's pretty great. That's pretty great. And how aware were you as you were growing up, what she did and how unusual it was?

CAROL LAWSON: Oh my gosh. I was oblivious. Oblivious.

KATIE HAFNER: But, but you would watch, but you would watch the, the Apollo launches, right?


KATIE HAFNER: Oh, no, no. You were too young. That's right. There were no..

CAROL LAWSON: It was done by the time…

KATIE HAFNER: Right. It was your brother who did that.

CAROL LAWSON: Exactly. That's right. Because, so, and, and when you listen to Lost Women in Science, I think it was Episode 3. Right?

That's what they, you. That was my brother that was sitting there. I mean, I would've been first place, let's just say if I had have been there, I would've been on the moon. I would've been,

KATIE HAFNER: So to speak!

CAROL LAWSON: So to speak. I would've been beside myself with excitement.


CAROL LAWSON: Okay. Because when I went to school, I went to school, um, as an astrophysics major, so it's in my blood. I, I got, I got that part of the gene.

But, um, yeah, I would've been just through the moon. But yeah, that was all done by the time I showed up. So she didn't talk, I mean, she, she, no, she didn't talk about. She didn't even talk about it, so I didn't even learn about any of this until my twenties, and then it started trickling out.

The ‘aha’ moment for me was when I heard about the NASA and I was like, wait a minute. Hold, sorry. I'm sorry. Excuse me. I think I heard you say you worked for NASA and she go, yeah, I, I did the, the Saturn V, um, rocket and worked on the hot spots.

I said, I'm sorry, we're gonna have sit down. Talk about this, because you can't just say that like, I need a bottle of milk out of the refrigerator. You can't do me like that. This is amazing. How can you not share this with me?


CAROL LAWSON: She's like, and in her mind it was, it was just another, you know, it, it was her job. It was what she did, and she was just that humble.

KATIE HAFNER: Well, when you interviewed her for Story Corps, when was that?

CAROL LAWSON: It was, it was the SWE, it was the SWE Conference.

KATIE HAFNER: So the Society of Women Engineers, for those who don't know. And this was Story Corps that you did, uh, correct?

CAROL LAWSON: Uh huh. So, um, it was closer to 2010. That was just wonderful because, um, they were honoring. Her, because like I said, she integrated them.


CAROL LAWSON: And then they were honoring the, uh, or it was on the anniversary of their, um, conference they had in Houston.


CAROL LAWSON: Uh, their national conference was in Houston. And uh, Houston was still segregated and they had it at a hotel that was segregated.

KATIE HAFNER: In 1956, 7… Yeah. Something like that.

CAROL LAWSON: Sounds about right. And so anywho, she, um, they were gonna pull the conference because they were like, we're not gonna have a conference where all of our members aren't welcome.

KATIE HAFNER: So the hotel wouldn't let her, wouldn't let her stay there, wouldn't let her stay

CAROL LAWSON: Wouldn’t let her stay. Exactly. Mm-hmm. And mom was like, ho, ho, no, no, no, no. We're gonna, we're gonna figure this out. We're not gonna cancel, you know, a national conference on account of me.

KATIE HAFNER: And was that the, was that the first time that you heard that story when you were interviewing her? Or did you know it before that?

CAROL LAWSON: I, I think I knew it. I think I knew of it. I didn't know all the details, um, but I, I did know of the story. Um, but long story short, she was, they were able to come to a compromise where she basically was escorted… Te hotel, said that she can, she can come to your conference, she just can't stay here.

Luckily, mom was from Houston, so my Aunt Constance, um, lived there, um, in a lovely home on Bayou Street. And, um, so she stayed there overnight and then was, you know, driven back and forth. But while at the conference she was escorted. Everywhere. Yeah. She went to, she, she was all over the place.


CAROL LAWSON: And they, they just made a, you know, made a fun thing out of it. Yvonne, I need to go get some cigarettes. Come with me. And so she was just parade throughout the place so that they recognize that, you know, we are here and I am here and you're not gonna hide me.

KATIE HAFNER: Mm-hmm. Tell me about her last years and, and the, the last conversations you had with her.

CAROL LAWSON: Yeah, so, um, she, uh, you know, God has his plan and he's got a, he's always has the best plan. So, you know, we had a home that we had, Iguess for forever, had planned for her to come stay with us and she never did. She was like, I'm fine, I'm good. Cuz obviously she's super independent. And she fell and broke her wrist, so she couldn't drive.

And so we said, Hey, got room for you. Come on, we got you covered. And so this was, um, three years before she passed and she, um, it was, it was priceless. Let me just put it like that. The time we were there, she was there with us, interacted with the entire family. She was just part of everything we did, which was amazing because otherwise she wouldn't have been.

Yeah, because it just would've been an extra step that everyone would've had to take and she would not have, it just wouldn't have flowed nearly as easily.


CAROL LAWSON: So that was a blessing on top of the fact that I was able to feel like I was able to do everything I could for all the way to the end. And, um, the last thing I remember her saying to me was, you know, I think there's just still so much I still have to do.


CAROL LAWSON: And I was like, mom, no, no, no, you rest. You just rest. And she's like, okay, okay. Okay. And, um, I think that was her last lucid conversation with me.

KATIE HAFNER: Oh, wow. So she, yeah. You know, ror someone as kind of pragmatic as she was, and matter of fact, she was driven.

CAROL LAWSON: Driven. Driven. Yeah. And I will say though, um, we were able, because she did get ill, she did get ill, um, near to the end.

And, um, the doctor, he thought that she had a, some fluid on her lungs and, um, he's like, you know, I don't think you're gonna have much longer. And so I did have that heads. and we were really wanting to celebrate her 90th birthday. Well this was in January.


CAROL LAWSON: So we were like, we're not gonna make it. She wasn't gonna make it to April.


CAROL LAWSON: 13th, which was her birthday. So we were able to pull together, um, a little surprise birthday party for her in a week. And, um, I promise you, our house was full of students of her’s, friends, family, relatives that were close by. I mean, I, we have folks driving in from Georgia.

Um, a lady flew in from Arizona. I mean, these folks loved this woman. Those students were coming back


CAROL LAWSON: And saying, Hey, we love you. Thank you for everything you did for us. Here's where we are now. Here's what we're doing now. You know? Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was, it was so wonderful to be able to give her her flowers before she passed. It was a beautiful day, so that's one of my most, most proudest moments to be able to pull that off for her.

KATIE HAFNER: Wow. What a gift. What a gift you gave. Oh, oh, well, what have I forgotten? Anything?

CAROL LAWSON: One of her, one of the things she was super proud of was her granddaughter. I can't walk outta here without talking about her,

KATIE HAFNER: Whose name is…

CAROL LAWSON: And her grandson, uh, uh, Paris. Paris Lawson is her, Paris Nicole is her granddaughter. Um, the, the, the connection there was, um, mom played basketball and Paris played basketball, and, um, she just loved the fact that Paris played basketball and she played, um, at Belmont, she was on, she was a scholarship point guard at Belmont.

And so Belmont played TSU.

KATIE HAFNER: Oh, really?

CAROL LAWSON: So mom was able to see Paris play at TSU and um, she was just beside herself at that game and, and was like, you know what? That that girl, that girl's good, she's gonna, she's gonna go places. I was like, yeah, she, she, she's got the genes. She'll be fine. She'll be fine.

KATIE HAFNER: The next generation.

CAROL LAWSON: Oh yeah. Yeah. And, and, and, and I think, I think it has a lot to do with, you know, her. I mean, her parents were there. And I mean, like I said, you know, the struggles help explain how these people potentially pushed through…

KATIE HAFNER: to do their science and otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. So we wouldn't even be talking about them in the first place.

CAROL LAWSON: Yeah. And maybe we can too. Mm. So, yeah.

KATIE HAFNER: So, yeah. Well, Carol Lawson. I would like to thank you so much for coming on to Our Mothers Ourselves, and this has been tremendous fun.

CAROL LAWSON: Same here. I just wanna thank you for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share a little bit more about, um, my mom, Y.Y.’s, um, story and life and legacy. Um, cuz this has just been, this is my, my heart is singing.


KATIE HAFNER: That's it. This time for Our Mothers Ourselves. Our theme music is composed and performed by Andrea Perry, Paula Ballah is our artist in residence, and special thanks this week to Ashraya Gupta.

Please look for more episodes and contribute to Our Mother Word Cloud at ourmothersourselves.com. That's ourmothersourselves.com.

Our Mothers Ourselves is a production of Eck Studios in San Francisco. I'm Katie Hafner. See you next time.


Katie Hafner

Host & Executive Producer

Katie Hafner was a longtime reporter for The New York Times, where she continues to be a frequent contributor. Katie is uniquely positioned to tell the stories of lost women of science. Not only does she bring a skilled hand to complex narratives, but she has been writing about women in STEM for nearly 30 years. She is the author of six books of non-fiction, and her first novel, The Boys, was published in July 2022 by Spiegel & Grau. Katie is also the host and executive producer of Our Mothers Ourselves, an interview podcast that celebrates extraordinary mothers.

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