I wish to enthusiastically lend my support to Ian Stanley’s request that the city of Napa display the rainbow flag at least one day outside City Hall during Pride Week in June (“Petition asks Napa to fly rainbow flag,” March 30). Allow me to explain why I so strongly endorse Ian’s idea.
I bought a new car in May 2002, and because my garage is so full of “stuff,” I have to park my car in the driveway in front of my home. Early on the morning of Aug. 12, 2003, I noticed two gallon-size plastic jugs on either side of my new car with wisps of smoke coming out of each jug. There was a clear liquid all over my car and colored liquid (car paint) dripping off the car.
I phoned the police. They came out and made a report and identified the contents of the two jugs as muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid). The Napa Fire Department came out and hosed off the car and the grass, which still died. Three weeks and $4,000 later (thank God for car insurance), I got my car back.
A month later, on Oct. 4, 2003, my car was vandalized again. Someone threw a brick through my back window and punctured three of my tires. Again, my car had been parked in front of my house.
Again, I phoned the police and an officer made a report. I also phoned my pastor to tell her I wouldn’t be at the AIDS walk because of what had happened to my car. She was at my house a few minutes after the police officer had arrived. My pastor convinced me to go to the AIDS walk “to be with those who love me.” I did and they do.
Later that day, I phoned a friend to tell her what had happened to my car — vandalized again — and Pam said, “Sally, do you still have the rainbow flag flying on your front porch?”
My heart sank and my breath left me, because I had not made the connection between the two acts of vandalism and my display of the rainbow flag. I’m naive and trusting — and besides, I didn’t think that hate crimes could happen in good old Napa. To this day, I still don’t fly the rainbow flag on my house — I’m afraid to.
So that’s why I strongly urge the Napa City Council (and maybe the Napa County Board of Supervisors) to proudly fly the rainbow flag one day in June. Is one day out of 365 too much to ask? I think not. Besides, it would make this gay old lady feel really proud of her hometown.
Burnham lives in Napa.