Cayucos anti-vaxxer stands his ground

April 30, 2021

Dell Franklin

Editor’s Note: The following series, “Life in Radically Gentrifying Cayucos by the Sea,” to be posted biweekly includes the notes, thoughts, and opinions of an original American voice: author Dell Franklin. 

Franklin’s memoir, “Life On The Mississippi, 1969,” is currently on Amazon.


I ran into a friend of mine in the south parking lot beside Ruddell’s Smoke House. He’s the kind of friend you see in town and say hello to and exchange impersonal pleasantries, not a close friend who knows what you’re thinking or believe in, but the exchanges are always warm and friendly, never negative or provocative. He is a person who picks up loose trash after busy weekends and has helped out the homeless folks living in their cars.

He has been up against it, and he remembers and cares. He sports a wealth of tattoos of symbols that reaffirm his happiness and peace of mind.

I was parked late in the afternoon and watching goings-on along the beach and realized his van was parked one car space over from mine. He was lounging in the back, side doors open, listening to country western music. When he spotted me he came over and asked how I was doing, and I said fine and asked how he was doing, and he said great and I told him I felt a great relief because I’d just gotten the final dose of the Covid vaccine. His face changed and he said, with surprising conviction, “They’re not making me take that shot.”

“Why not?” I asked. “It was a pretty easy process.”

“The governments not telling me what to do,” he maintained.

“The governments not telling you what to do,” I insisted. “They’re urging you to get the shot so you stay healthy and don’t spread the Covid around.”

“It’s not that big a deal,” he said. “I’m 57. I’m healthy. It’s just the flu.”

I told him it wasn’t just the flu, that it had killed ten times more people than the normal flu, and sometimes the aftereffects lasted for months or didn’t go away.

He shrugged. “I could get killed driving down the highway, too, so what’s the difference?”

I’d heard this argument before. It made no sense. “The difference is, you get the shot, and eliminate one more way of biting the dust. Why take a chance if you don’t have to?”

“I’m not gonna get it,” he insisted. “I never wear a mask out here on the beach and I’ve never got it. I wear my mask when I go inside places, because I have to. I’m not gonna get the shot, and I’m not givin’ up my freedom and have the government tell me what to do.”

“How are you giving up your freedom?” I asked.

“They’re making me do something I refuse to do. I have a right not to take a shot if I don’t want it or trust it.”

“It’s been proven by the CDC that it’s trustworthy.”

“I don’t trust the CDC either. They’re just like the government.”

Well, now I patiently explained how the government backed the Salk vaccine for polio, and saved lives. I added that government-sponsored vaccines for cholera and the bubonic plague were issued while I was in the army during the Vietnam War, as well as small pox and others.

“I’m not getting the goddam shot!” he exclaimed, looking wroth, backing away from my car window.

A woman around his age one car over yelled out, “Right! We don’t have to get the goddam shot! I’m not!

Screw the goddam shot!”

I didn’t want a person I’d never had a misunderstanding with get cross with me, so I said, “I got the shot because I’m old and vulnerable and had cancer. But also because if I do get the Covid, I won’t spread it and kill one of my old fogey friends. And that’s why, as a young person, I’d get it, too.”

Well, he was more than perturbed now and went back to his van and sprawled out in the back and picked up a tall boy of Bud and took a huge restorative quaff and turned up the country western loud enough to drown me out no matter how loud I yelled at him and started singing along with the song, a sad, cloying tale of heartbreak and sorrow.

I rolled my window up and thought to myself, “Even if the Covid someday passes into history, I’m still wearing a mask when I go inside businesses and I might continue to do this for the rest of my life.”

Maybe the day will come when I’m the only person in a market or drugstore or bank or doctor’s office or movie theater or any kind of inside venue with a mask. When they ask me why I’m still wearing a mask, I’ll tell them the odds are slimmer than ever that I’ll catch any kind of flu or cold or the myriad diseases multiplying in our world because we have too many people and we’re out of control and civilization is becoming more and more deranged and unhealthy despite all the drugs and cures we’ve created since the beginning of time.

I gazed over at my anti-vaxxer friend still moving to the music and guzzling his beer, totally comfortable in what he was doing, happy, I suppose, and a very good guy who means no harm to anyone, but at the moment, peeved at my intrusion into his freedom.

Truth is, I wanted to tell him that people who refuse to get a shot—to save their own lives as well as others, because of their claim it infringes on their freedom–act as selfish, ignorant, corrosive and destructive forces in our already fractured society.

But what good would it do?


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Dell, i didn’t think you were the type to write about such a controversial topic. There is a silver lining in those gray clouds, and that is those that anti-vaxxers can’t travel outside the country or board a plane. While you and I can board a plane, those silly anti-vaxxers will have no other choice but to drive anywhere they have to go. Freedom isn’t free, and their liberty only goes as far as no one else’s liberty is infringed upon. I’d have to say that anti-vaxxers are really cutting this one close, maybe we can let them suffer outside of ICU should they ever do get infected. But that won’t happen, as they will cry and beg to be saved. In the end things will work out. After all, Biden got vaccinated and won, while Trump got sick and lost.

Jon Tatro

Dell is the “Karen” of the coast. Mind your own business buddy. I’m pretty sure these stories are all made up anyway.


You base your opinions on gross assumption most of the time. Weren’t you a former LEO?

His stories are true. A local would know it.


I probably won’t get the shot. I have never received the flu shot. I am relying on what has kept me from getting the flu for more than 35 years. Common sense and my immune system. If I haven’t got covid in the last 18 months without purchasing any hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, why should I be at risk now with everybody else getting the “vaccine “.


If you are vaccinated, why do you care whether i am? What does that say about the vaccine? If the science is settled (vaccine safe, masks necessary, certain treatments inadequate/unsafe, etc.), then why is it necessary to muzzle medical experts? That’s unsettling, to say the least.

Adam Trask

“why do you care whether I am”

Because if too many people don’t get vaccinated and continue to spread the virus it will hang around and haunt us both from a health care and economic standpoint.


You could be carrying and spreading Covid to others. That is why.

Also– we all don’t get to go back to normal until we reach herd immunity as a nation. So you are holding us back from our normal lifestyle. A lifestyle that doesn’t require mask mandates.

What’s unsettling is that we are going to take so long to get fully immunized that it will mutate and come back stronger than ever.

Camus Redux

Not enough people have died. Bodies need to be piled up in the streets for the right to pitch in and give up their veins for a little poke. Just as not enough kids have been shot up in classrooms before they’ll give up their assault rifles.

Francesca Bolognini

First of all, THANK YOU DELL.. I appreciate your taking a stand for sanity on a very heavily trolled site like this. You are a true patriot for standing up to them on this important issue.

When I was a kid, Polio was in full swing and friends of mine got it and were crippled for life, some died. We had to avoid public pools and many other areas of possible contamination and parents lived in fear of it striking their children at any time. When Salk developed and then donated the vaccine, no one was demanding to be exempt from receiving it as some sort of a “right”. We simply lined up at school for our sugar cube and did what we saw as both a patriotic duty and a blessing for our own state of health. Once we had all received this vaccine, polio disappeared. It was nothing short of a miracle, which lifted a very dark cloud from our nation and strengthened us as a people. It was a cause for celebration.

My mother had both rheumatic fever and scarlet fever as a child. They left her with permanent heart damage. I was vaccinated and my generation never knew those or several other diseases. Imagine what we would be facing now, had so many people ignorantly refused to receive immunity and all those diseases continued to circulate in our society, weakening us a a nation and preying on our hopes for our futures. Imagine what our health care burden would be. Seriously. How can anyone consider themselves patriotic or even a mature adult for refusing to take care of themselves and protect others in this manner just because “I don’t wanna!” , “You can’t make me!”?

I am appalled and deeply disappointed at what so many people have become in this day and age. Selfish, self centered and lacking in the skills of critical thinking. Listening to any idiotic argument that supports their fears. If anyone feels I am “shaming” them personally, then they understand my intent perfectly.


Dang Heidi , didn’t know you were that old

Francesca Bolognini

How dumb is someone who doesn’t realize I’m using my real name, unlike yourself, Mr. Jack? Must be one of those “genius” anti-vaxxers…….

fat chance

Sure Heidi…wink wink


Francesca, just a correction. The oral sugar cube polio vaccine was the Sabin vaccine, not the Salk. Salk was injected. Both Sabin and Salk gave their vaccines to the world — no patents or royalties. So different from today when medical innovators are greedy about making big bucks, Pharma rips us off selling stuff developed with tax dollars, and we assume that’s OK. Times have changed.


Is it better for everyone to get the vaccine? Of course! Are the majority of people going to wear a mask for the rest of their lives? Probably. ( I know I will) . Should we downplay people who choose to not to get the vaccine? It’s still their choice not to protect themselves. So because you will not know who got it and who hasn’t, it invites the new World Practice of Social Distancing, as something that will probably Never go away too, at least not for me.

Ben Daho

It’s embarrassing to watch grown adults (that have become adults because of immunizations) argue against responsibility. they have a drivers license, wear seat belts, wear shoes and shirts, drive the speed limit but, “They’re not going to surrender their freedom” My dad never learned to swim because gramma was worried he’d get polio at the swimming pool in town.” Selfish, entitled takers.

Camus Redux

A lot of these people take people like Tucker Carlson seriously.


I don’t think not wanting one particular vaccine makes you an anti vaxxer. I got it, but wouldn’t judge anyone who chose not to. But I’m also taking the vaccination as a green light to ditch the mask.

Ben Daho

Yes, that’s EXACTLY what it is.

Camus Redux

OK then – “anti-COVID-vaxxer”?


Sure, anti-Covid-vaxxer is a fair label. The straight anti-vaxxer carries more negative connotations than an anti-Covid-vaxxer should.