Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

A Feb. 21 obituary gave a thumbnail sketch of the life of Mary Pfremmer. She lived a full, active life, and a long life. One sentence caught my eye: “…went back to work in getting the toll off the phone lines in Del Norte County.”

I wondered if anyone caught that, and if anyone realized the meaning behind those few simple words. Therein lies a tale.

After a time of being appalled about the intra-county toll on our phone lines, Mary decided she would try to do something about it. She worked at it for years … against opposition from every government and utility entity she came across.

But she was a determined lady and she persevered. She set her mind and hung on and kept fighting. She never gave up, and finally she was successful: the toll charges were removed.

Now when we pick up the phone in Crescent City and call Smith River, there is no extra toll; no toll to call Gasquet; no toll to call Klamath. If you are in any of those communities, no toll to call from Klamath to Crescent City; from Klamath to Gasquet; from Klamath to Smith River, etc.

All our communities had to pay tolls to telephone any of the others in our county. Of course, these tolls were a huge source of revenue for the phone companies and the phone companies did not want to let them go.

Today when the citizens of Del Norte County want to call anywhere in our county, there is no extra toll charge. For that, dear Del Norte residents, each of you can thank Mary Pfremmer. Rest in peace, Mary. A job well done! And we thank you.

Elizabeth Freeman

Crescent City

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