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Tony Wade

I am thankful for these freedoms – and more

  I have the freedom to choose to get Peets coffee or Starbucks coffee, or just pay a buck at Mickey D’s. I have the freedom to choose to be a dog person and it doesn’t mean that I hate cats. It just means that I prefer animals that are in the same dimension as […]

‘Does anyone remember…?’ Part I

The three most-used words on posts in the nostalgic 6,600-member I Grew Up in Fairfield Too Facebook group are, “Does anyone remember. . . .” Today’s offering is the first in a periodic series of Back in the Day columns that will feature people, places or events that local folks may have either forgotten about, […]

Time to unveil my Bucket List

I have sometimes had brain sprinkles that develop into ideas for columns that I have quite intentionally not taken to full term and given birth to for one simple reason: I don’t want to jinx myself. The biggest example of that was an idea I had several years ago to write my own obituary. I […]

Heritage Society book contains wealth of Solano history

On March 17, 1992, the Fairfield City Council passed a resolution authorizing the Heritage Society of West Central Solano to prepare an inventory of the historic and archeological resources found in the city of Fairfield. The Heritage Society project staff included organization President Tim Farmer, Chairman Bert Hughes, Ruth Hagemann, Vera Oliver, Marjorie Wildman, Donna […]

May 15, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Van Gard rocks 30th high school reunion

James Marshall High School Class of 1985 grads David Parker, Gabriel Cruz, Anton Wayne and Chris Lee faithfully recreated the cover shot of their demo cassette tape they’d made 30 years earlier for photographer Ro Foxx. Their band, Van Gard, had played one gig at the school and they’d come in third that year in […]

Happy Mother’s Day to superhero moms

National Superheroes Day was April 28, but the only real-life superhero I’ve ever known was my mom. She had super-hearing that could go down halls and penetrate doors, super-sight that could spot the second she walked in the door one of her decorative plates me and my brothers had broken during a fight and tried […]

May the 4th be with you . . . and me

“Step forward the accused will,” Yoda said in his authoritative and yet slightly musical voice. “I have a bad feeling about this,” I thought to myself. I shuffled a little closer to the semi-circle of Jedi Knights, but had to be roughly nudged by a guard to go to where they wanted me to stand. […]

Solano’s county hospital history dates to 19th century

California county hospitals in the 19th century were built primarily to care for the poor. In fact, they were usually referred to by the unflattering nickname “Poor House” and were where the indigent elderly ended up until they died. The 1901 Pauper Act added health care to an 1855 California statute that directed counties to […]

May 01, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

Purple is the color of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, where volunteers organize teams, raise money and walk around a track for 24 hours. Purple represents all the different types of cancer the American Cancer Society fights. I’m helping with the planning of the July 18 Fairfield Relay this year at Armijo High School and […]

April 27, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Armijo High building still majestic at 100

Armijo High School began in 1891 with 30 students in a single classroom located in the Crystal Elementary School building. A separate Queen Anne-style wooden building was built in 1893 for use on the eastern end of Union Avenue. When the high school-age population of Fairfield began to grow, the 16,000-square-foot reinforced concrete building that echoed […]

April 24, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

BOTTG’s ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ a fine farce

Benicia Old Town Theatre Group has the world “old” in its name. It is appropriate as the group is now in its 51st year of existence. The building they perform in, the historic BDES Hall, is more than 100 years old. What’s new there? The latest production, “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” I had never heard of the show before and […]

April 24, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

This column will give you the munchies

Today, April 20, is 4/20, a counterculture holiday where many people celebrate (and use) marijuana. It evolved from a bunch of San Rafael high school stoners in 1971 who would meet at 4:20 in the afternoon by a statue, roll doobies out of their lids and get baked. I had never heard of the 4/20 thing until […]

April 20, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Solano Rep’s ‘Picnic’ actually a theatrical feast

It was a really nice touch to be treated to an actual picnic when I went to review Solano Repertory Theatre Company’s latest production “Picnic.” Director Lindsay Stoltz-Karimian was my hostess and I know she was not trying to bribe a good review out of me with the tray of tasty fruit, cheeses, crackers and Trader Joe’s sparkling […]

April 18, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Military brats made memories

While my father, Master Chief Petty Officer Orvis T. Wade Sr., had a Navy career that spanned three decades, unlike many other families, we didn’t pack up and move that much. In fact, we lived in Norfolk, Virginia until I was 11 years old, moved to Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato in January 1976 and lived there until […]

April 17, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

My tribute band is coming together

Over the years, I’ve done phone interviews for newspaper articles on numerous celebrities including Little Richard, Ben Vereen, Lily Tomlin, Weird Al Yankovic and others. Recently, I interviewed Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger. Well . . . not really. Actually, there were from Motley Crue and Rolling Stones tribute […]

April 13, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Board games were catalysts for family fun

My family played board games a lot and it would sometimes lead to conflicts. I remember busting my dad cheating at Monopoly. He’d stashed Monopoly money ($500 bills) in his pocket before the game and tried to sneak them out to pay his Boardwalk hotel bill. Years ago I played a board game called “Picture Picture” […]

April 10, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

8 birthday candles on The Last Laugh’s cake

This column turns 8 years old this month! Consequently, today’s offering is all about the number eight. To kick it off, I will now use my Magic 8-Ball. Me: Oh, mystic Magic 8-Ball, will readers regret spending eight minutes reading this column once they are done? (vigorous shaking) Magic 8-Ball: It is certain. (more vigorous shaking) […]

April 06, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Pro wrestling boasts enduring appeal

The 76,976 fans who attended WrestleMania 31 last Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara set a professional wrestling attendance record. The event featured some of the biggest names in wrestling, including The Undertaker, Sting and Seth Rollins. The enormous popularity of wrestling owes a debt of gratitude to Gorgeous George, a flamboyant golden-haired wrestler in […]

April 03, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

My guide to dining out

I enjoy eating out from time to time and what follows is my dining guide. You’re welcome: No tip is required. CHOOSING: Mexican? Chinese? Italian? You rarely hear anyone say “Let’s eat British” unless they mean fish and chips. The British have some nasty food. Jellied eels? Blecch! They have this stuff called stargazy pie that is like […]

March 30, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Whimsical, wise-cracking nuns own stage in ‘Nunsense’

FAIRFIELD — I am not Catholic, but I feel the need to go to confession at the start of this review of Missouri Street Theatre’s current production of “Nunsense.” The show was the first main stage play by the Fairfield-based troupe back in 2009 and I reviewed it back then. Much of that review fits […]

March 27, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Recall when Grange Intermediate opened its doors?

  The grand opening ceremonies for the $1.8 million, 20-acre Grange Intermediate School (now Grange Middle School) on Blossom Avenue took place Nov. 10, 1974. The school’s name, chosen by a citizen’s naming committee, honored the nation’s oldest agricultural organization, the National Fraternal Association of Farmers, and also the Tabor Avenue Grange Hall (later Lynne’s Dance Studio and now a church). The […]

March 27, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Lionel and his wife Rolanda go to war

Halfway down the hall to the kitchen, Lionel stopped, turned and faced his wife Rolanda’s favorite picture. It had been taken at a family reunion in 1979 and featured more than 50 members of her extended family, all grinning. He gently pushed the top right corner down so the picture was slightly askew. Lionel knew it would drive Rolanda […]

March 23, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Local theater group brings back the hit ‘Nunsense’

FAIRFIELD — Missouri Street Theatre goes back to the future when they present “Nunsense,” opening Friday at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts. The play was the first main stage Missouri Street Theatre production back in 2009. A few things are the same. Dae Spering is in the show again as Sister Robert Anne, but she is […]

March 20, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Long-awaited ‘Rhinoceros’ roars into college theater

FAIRFIELD — Solano Community College Theatre Arts adjunct professor Joseph DeLorenzo has wanted to either act in or direct Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” for more than two decades. His dream will become reality Friday, at least the part about directing, when Solano College Theatre presents the challenging piece. “Rhinoceros” was first performed in 1960 and once […]

March 20, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Rudy Colombini & The Unauthorized Rolling Stones set to rock DeVille

VACAVILLE — It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. With Rolling Stones tribute band Rudy Colombini & The Unauthorized Rolling Stones, however, it is more about emulation, not imitation. “We capture a bit of the essence of The Rolling Stones,” Colombini said. “This band is the real deal.” Colombini is a singer-songwriter who had […]

March 20, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Nut Tree’s sign now gone, but memories remain

The Nut Tree was created by Helen and Ed “Bunny” Power in 1921 as a small roadside fruit stand on old U.S. Route 40 (later Interstate 80). It prospered due in part to its convenient location right off the freeway in between San Francisco and Sacramento and featured a restaurant famous for cuisine using local […]

March 20, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Cobbled-together ideas make complete column

Sometimes I get ideas that aren’t long enough for a whole column, so I cobble them together – like today’s offering. They either become a cohesive, kinda entertaining read or, at the very least, fulfill my maximum word count. You decide. My fat head: Imagine my surprise when I got last Monday’s paper and there […]

March 16, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Trüe 2 Crüe bring high adrenaline Mötley Crüe tribute to Deville

VACAVILLE — Trüe 2 Crüe unabashedly bill themselves as “The Best Damn Mötley Crüe Tribute Band” and Larry Cornwall, who plays drumstick-spinning drummer Tommy Lee, stands by it. “We call it the high-adrenaline show as it is just really high energy. Everyone in the band is like a maniac on stage,” Cornwall said. The rest of the […]

March 13, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Hands-on support for the symphony from local music store owner

FAIRFIELD — While  Gordon’s Music and Sound owner Cliff Gordon has been a supporter of the Solano Community Symphony in numerous ways for the past two decades, two years ago that support became more hands on. Literally. He now has both hands (and his lips) on his clarinet, as he was asked to join the symphony, now in its 28th year. Gordon has […]

March 13, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

My sesquicentennial Back in the Day column

I never miss the opportunity to use a word that just feels cool as it rolls off your lips. Today that word is “sesquicentennial.” This is my 150th Back in the Day column and it serves three purposes: (1) A celebratory retrospective. (2) An opportunity to update y’all on past columns. (3) A reason not to have to go […]

March 13, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,
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