« Crimea | Main | On Extinction »

March 25, 2014


Rupert Neil Bumfrey

A good read on this Wednesday morning, thank you

O.K. Sudesh

unbelievable writing! it moved me greatly ....

thank you.

J. P. Killingsworth

And I too thank you---with laughter and tears. What mistakes were made! What foolishness---and joy. Your observations and insights are astounding.

Ben Schwartz

This was touching, truly.

Norma Horrell

I know everyone Erik is talking about. He sounds very snobbish to me. His grandparents were my grandchildrens great-aunt and great-uncle.
Norma Horrell


Hi Norma,

I was appreciating a few years ago, during a visit to a Sacramento Barnes & Noble, your contributions to Joyce Buckland's history of Rio Linda and Elverta. Thank you for that!

As for snobbery, it's a complicated issue, I suppose. One can simultaneously feel inadequate in view of one's origins, and also feel shame for feeling inadequate rather than simply being proud to be who one is. That's how I would characterize my own feelings for much of my life (though these issues fade more and more into irrelevance as I get older).

Anyhow from my perspective this reads like a love-letter to Rio Linda: it is overflowing with longing and nostalgia, and with esteem for people of my grandparents' generation and their way of life!

Ordinarily it is embarrassing to me when my close family, my mother and father in particular, read what I write. But in this case, criticized by someone from my extended family, I'm immensely happy to know that at least I have all their support and encouragement.


Carole Koupal Johnson

You know Erik (Justin), I kind of felt the same way when my parents first moved me from the big city of Sacramento where I had all the amenities that life could offer for the times (1945). Teenage years are fragile to say the least but here I found myself in the middle of 5 acres in Rio Linda w/o my long time city friends. Lonesome and depressed and wondering what I did to deserve this. Previously I had walked to High School just a few blocks from home and here I was at a street corner (no sidewalks) waiting in the dark for a school bus to come and pick me up for school. I was frightened to say the least………the big bus came, the door opened, I kept my head down and entered but alas!!! The "kids' were singing 99 bottles on the shelf, someone handed me a dentyne gum, asked my name and sat down by me.
I need say more Erik, those friends on that bus are still with me today 70 years later. I have to tell you that moving to RL was the best thing that ever happened to me.


What a nice, touching memory, Carole. Thank you for that!


I should perhaps clarify one point. I am not endorsing what is said in the Sacramento Bee article. I think it is filled with horrible anti-rural, anti-poor prejudices, and I find it disheartening that such a thing could be printed in such a lighthearted vein. But the existence of this sort of stuff helps to explain where the feeling of inadequacy that I was trying to describe comes from as one ventures out into the world from Rio Linda.


This is so beautiful! You write with genuine affection about Rio Linda, and your childhood. And also describe such a true little boy's curiosity, enthusiasm, and empathy for animals, the real kind, and the animals of a child's imagination.


Beautiful writing. I grew up next door to Rio Linda until the mid 80's and as an African-American, I don't have great memories of that place. Mixed feelings.... Great bait shop and weekly trips there to the egg ranch.

Tina Duncan

I loved reading your article hearing about Rio Linda from your perspective, a perspective at times in my life I may have also felt. I feelt the nostolgia when speaking of your past here yet some of the distaste I heard in your article I do not feel. Where it is easy to see how you could be embarresed about the things the Sacramento News paper has said about our town I feel very different. I was transplanted in to Rio Linda in 1986 at 15. At first it was hard to acclimate to this place. As a teenager, most of the kids here had known each other since Kindergarten. I felt issolated in an enviorment not easily penetrated. My best friend ended up being one of the kids who grew up in this town from birth. Her grandmother had passed down a rich history of the town and she openly shared it with me. While some of it was good, bad and ugly there was also a deep loyal love for this town. When her grandmother and grandfather originally mirated here it was hardly a town. They bought the land from West 2nd street all the way to Elverta market. By the time I met her they had sold off most of it. What I learned from them was that people in this town were tough, hard working, They loved hard, fought hard and were loyal to their core. The racial things in this areas past is not acceptable and in no way a part of the history I love but we can say that about most places in Americas past if we dig deep enough. The part about this town I would like to convey is the deep love people share for each other here. Rio Linda means family to me. Someone driving by may just see beat up cars in the front yards of various houses. Those beat up cars though are a visual reminder to me of something that meant something to someone. That is also how I feel about the people here. There is a reason that families have stayed here for generations. In your article there was a reference to the schools and the prison system. Some of that is probably true but there are also not too many places that after 30 years if you drove From the Arches to the Diner you could probably run into multiple people you know. People stick around this place and there is deep pride and love for this community. Last weekend people gathered in the streets for the Rio Linda Christmas parade. It turned into this huge ralley to Cheer on the highschool football team that is playing in the state championship game this weekend. If you attend that game you will see gerneration upon generation wearing black and gold cheering for these young men. What I see in this town is the same things I saw all those years ago. People here are still tough, hard working, They still love hard, fight hard and are still loyal to their core. When people write articles that put this little town down, Im thankful because it keeps our little hidden gem a secret. You should come back and visit again soon Erik and maybe you will walk away with a new perspective.

Candace Taylor

My mother was a “welfare worker” assigned to the Rio Linda & Elverta areas. In the late 1960’s she’s drag me with her in the County assigned Chevrolet to various hovels to check on the claimants. I witnessed chickens pecking at cereal on kitchen tables, a teen propped up in a corner wearing a dirty diaper, willfully ignorant people who were genetic defects that argued with my mother over how to properly take care of children. These experiences were burned into my memory, making a lasting impression on this community. We moved to RL in 1995 because we owned livestock and it was close to our jobs. I’ve regretted that decision every day for the past 26 years. The troglodytes bred and bred—continuing that “willful ignorance” and strange entitled “bad” behavior.

The comments to this entry are closed.