I remember when I first saw the Internet, in 1993 out in the country on the gigantic campus of UC Davis, on farmland the university had bought locally (in the US county with the highest proportion of land dedicated to ag, Yolo County). It was at the editorial offices UC Integrated Pest Management, the people who tell you how to get rid of insect pests & vermin. I saw an icon on the computer screen, asked “What that?”, my supervisor showed me, “hmm, seems like a complete waste of time”.
This was confirmed to me when I tried to memorialize an event that has tremendous significance to Sacramentans and to members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the death of Myrna Opsahl at the hands of Emily Harris of the self-styled Symbionese Liberation Army on April 21, 1975. Mrs. Opsahl, whose surgeon husband Dr. Trygve Opsahl worked with my mother-in-law Bobbie DeFrantz at American River Hospital, was making a deposit from a church event on a Monday morning at the Crocker Bank branch then located near the corner of Marconi and Fair Oaks in Carmichael, CA. Myrna was carrying a cash register, when the gun-toting terrorists gave the kind of orders their script tells them to issue in these kinds of instances, Myrna was apparently preoccupied with the weight of the cash register, she failed to comply quickly enough, Emily Harris allegedly shot her with a shotgun.
I commemorated the 40th anniversary on the Free Republic website. Only one respondent even mentioned Mrs. Opsahl, the rest of the comments degraded into some reminiscences about some experiences with the killers at a gun store, The Old Sacramento Armoury at 22nd and J Streets, killers who were only shown in one photo in my article, no mention of grieving Dr. Opsahl holding a lovely picture of his wife and himself in a field of flowers, or Myrna’s smiling picture.
I had an experience with the gun store owner’s wife that must typify what a waste of time all this is: I was walking on College Town Drive towards the California State University Sacramento football stadium, Tony Bush’s Mom, of the family that owned the Old Sacramento Armoury, was driving an old orange and white VW van, about a 1965 model, she asked me if I wanted a ride, I thought she was going towards J Street, I accepted the ride, Tony’s Mom summarily does a u-turn in the street—she didn’t ascertain where I was going, she was going the other way—the front passenger door latch on the VW van was broken, the door swings open, I almost fall out onto the street and injure myself.
Complete waste of time, actually, a hazard. I’m going to try to kick this internet thing out of my life.