My sentence is the following. Crowd mentality is alarming. People who are normally sane become insane. I was in Berkeley just before the big riots on campus. We lived two blocks from Sather Gate. I walked to my work place just inside the gate at Sproul Hall, the Administration Office.
It was at this time that Mario Savio founded the Free Speech Movement. He was at the gate ranting, and there were Black Panthers who greatly intimidated me. One day while I was working at the Admissions Office, Mario, some Black Panthers and students, but mostly non students came and surrounded the building closing off the entrances. The Police were there, and I mainly remember how mad and frightened my coworkers were. This was 44 years ago and I have forgotten a lot of the details.
But what I do remember vividly is the civil unrest, mainly of young people who were not students. They wanted to destroy the businesses on Telegraph Ave. One day Mr. Radish and a friend made what was to be a quick trip to the mom/pop grocery store on Telegraph Ave. We found what little we wanted, and then got in the checker line. In front of me was a hippie/dippie young man and woman. In their cart was all of the tiny items in the store. Those were things like razor blades that had to be checked separately. Chap lipstick, cigarettes, gum etc. They had a whole cart filled with small items.
This man and woman were in front of me, and people crowded behind me and beside me. I was trapped. The young clerk patiently rung each piece up on the cash register. And this took quite a long time. Finally the clerk finished. And the young man then said, “I do not want any of this stuff.” The clerk was dumfounded. “It will take an afternoon to reshelf these goods,” she said.
Meanwhile I could not escape. My husband couldn’t move, nor our friend. Then I went into a screaming fit of amazing filthy language, which has only been surpassed by child birth old style. I think the police showed up; I really do not remember how I got out. But I remember the feeling of trapped panic there in the crowd. The regular customers where outraged, and the Free Speechers were smug. “Smug” never sits well with me.
I am for John McCain, and I approve of this message.