The Vandenberg protest was a few years later.
The primary reason we went to the Vandenberg protest was to
give support to a member of our local activist group who had decided to get herself arrested for trespassing. It was her first time, and she was very nervous about it. She wasn’t driving at all at that time, and for some reason
her husband couldn’t drive her down to Vandenberg, so she planned to take a
train or the bus. We offered to drive her down instead.
Her husband dropped her off at our house, then we loaded the whole family and one of the kids’ friends into the seven-seatbelt mini-van and made a day of it. It was a long day. The procedure of getting arrested and processed took a long time. When lunchtime rolled
around, we were still waiting for the arrest to take place. The kids got out the cooler to make their sandwiches. When I had packed the cooler I had thrown in a knife to use for slicing cheese. That was a mistake. It was a full-sized kitchen knife, with a
blade of seven or eight inches. Security people saw the kids using the knife, and just about arrested them.
The experience of trespassing and being arrested for the first time was stressful enough to our acquaintance that, once we got back to our house, she needed to just sit and relax in the family room, in a chair near the door to my office, while she waited for her husband to come pick her up. I went into the kitchen to fix dinner, but all she wanted to eat was an apple. I can still picture her huddled in that chair, recovering from the stress. That image got worked into the Senders screenplay at Leza’s first moment of crisis, and the image of the small female surrounded by stern guards because she had stepped across the line found its place in the scene at the Labs’ Community Day.