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Tony Wade

“The Wizard of Oz” used to be an annual television event

“The Wizard of Oz,” director Victor Fleming’s award-winning 1939 motion picture version of the L. Frank Baum story, is my all-time favorite movie. I love everything about the classic story and have embraced its many adaptations. In fact, I can’t wait until NBC’s “The Wiz Live” airs December 3rd and I already have December 18th […]

November 27, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

A ‘Star Wars’ Thanksgiving

“More white meat I will have,” Yoda said, extending his plate to Luke Skywalker. Luke picked up the 3-inch lightsaber/slicer and pressed the button. After the tiny blue blade flashed into being, he carefully sliced a healthy chunk of turkey off for Yoda. He then placed the cutting device down, waved his hand and floated […]

Thanksgiving celebrations through the years

With a little digging through local newspaper microfilm, we can get some glimpses of Thanksgiving celebrations back when. 60 Years ago: The Solano Republican, Thanksgiving 1955 In addition to “properly aged and well-trimmed” USDA choice turkeys, Fairfield Grocery had specials on Thanksgiving sides including pumpkins (3 for 29 cents), 28-ounce jars of mincemeat (45 cents) […]

November 20, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Raiders lost to Vikings, but there are still some positives

I think that instead of just being disappointed that the Raiders lost Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings, they should be recognized and congratulated on a couple of positive things they did. First, after pioneering the technique in earlier games this season, they have now seemingly perfected the easy-to-break-out-of-slightly-ever-so-slightly-touching-your opponent Bro Hug Tackle™. Also, with one […]

1972 family trip to San Augustine, Texas, was eventful

Note: In 2013, I shared a snippet from my as-yet-unfinished book I started writing in 2000. This section is about our family road trip in 1972 from Virginia to my parents’ hometown – the small East Texas city of San Augustine. When we arrived at my mom’s old family house that we were to stay […]

Sibling rivalries of the past

Growing up, I had two older brothers and two younger brothers. While I had a bit of sibling rivalry with all of them, my older brother, Ken, is the one who most made me feel like Jan Brady to his Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. I mean, my oldest brother Orvis, who we called “Juer” because as […]

November 13, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged | 1 Reply

Some things I’m grateful for

November is gratitude month and thus this is a partial list of things that I give thanks for. Thank you. I am grateful for: Playaway audiobooks I wrote earlier this year about my love of audiobooks, but I had not then discovered the easy joy of using the Solano County Library’s playaway ones. Instead of […]

‘Burst of Joy’ photograph captured at Travis in 1973

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a former American prisoner of war being reunited with his family in 1973 at Travis Air Force Base is iconic, and, as will be explained later, ironic. From February to April 1973, 591 American prisoners of war were repatriated from North Vietnam via diplomatic negotiations under then-President Richard Nixon called […]

November 06, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 2 Replies

The Oakland Raiders are contenders at long last

If you want to know the difference between last year’s Raiders and the new and much-improved 2015 version, look no further than Oakland punter Marquette King. In 2014, the silver and black had to punt so much that King was often the most recognizable Raider. I could tell it was him by how he jogged […]

My towering, powerful vendetta against Lenny Williams

I was the special projects coordinator in 2009 at Archway Recovery Services, and with the help of my friend and local impresario Jeff Trager planned a benefit concert called, “A Celebration of Recovery.” The band Trager assembled featured musicians who had played with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Mariah Carey. Included among them was Nelson Braxton […]

SCT’s ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ mostly rings true

ROCKVILLE — I think the best description of Solano College Theatre’s latest production, Sarah Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” was provided by director Dyan McBride in the program: “Kooky.” It is a quirky, honest, funny and original piece that hopefully inspires audiences to think, and maybe even do some introspection while being entertained. The play is […]

Revisiting ghosts of Halloweens past

I remember my mom taking me and my brothers in the early 1970s to get Halloween costumes at the department store she worked at. Back then, the main costume makers were Ben Cooper or Collegeville. Usually they came in a rectangular cardboard box with a cellophane window so you could see the character’s mask. That […]

October 30, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged | 3 Replies

Past, present, future fears as Halloween nears

With Halloween coming up, I thought an overview of things that I have feared in the past, things that I presently fear and things that I will probably fear in the future was an apropos topic for today. Things I used to fear Laffing Sal: I loved going to Ocean View Amusement Park in Virginia […]

October 26, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

‘Two Trains Running’ is entertaining, thought-provoking

BENICIA — In 2010, I attended the Benicia Old Town Theatre Group’s production of August Wilson’s “Fences,” which was only the second offering in the company’s 50-plus-year history with overt minority characters and themes. Their current production, “Two Trains Running,” also by August Wilson, is the third. It is always refreshing knowing that you can […]

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

More 1940s Armijo school newspaper gossip

I wrote a Back in the Day column in July about a gossip column in the Armijo High School newspaper, The Armijo Student, from the 1940s. They were donated to the Armijo Alumni Association by the family of late Class of 1946 graduate Gloria Leicke. Many readers found them as chucklicious as I did, so […]

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

MST’s rockin’ and rollin’ “Rocky Horror Show” returns

FAIRFIELD — I was a “virgin” at Missouri Street Theatre’s 2014 production of “The Rocky Horror Show,” which means in Rocky-lingo that I had never experienced the freaky, otherworldly show before. This year, I was well, a bit of a tart. For virgins planning on attending the show, the story is basically a slightly twisted […]

October 23, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Hey! My eyes are up here!

I’ve been asked why guys are obsessed with women’s breasts. My answer is, “I don’t understand the question. I mean, duh, because they’re breasts.” We like big breasts, small breasts, breasts that climb on rocks, tough breasts, sissy breasts, even breasts with chicken pox . . . oh, wait. I think I got my wires crossed with […]

October 19, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

‘God of Carnage’ a good start for new theater troupe

VALLEJO — I know it is theater custom to say “Break a leg!” on a show’s launch, but I am at a loss for what the appropriate term is for when a whole new theater company launches. “Break lots of legs?” Anyway, I have seen several theater troupes vanish in the 10 years I have been […]

October 16, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged ,

Johnny Colla reflects on ‘We Are The World’ 30 years later

On Jan. 28, 1985, 45 music superstars gathered to record the Lionel Richie/Michael Jackson-penned Ethiopian famine relief song “We Are The World” at A&M Studios in Hollywood. A sign at the entrance read “check your egos at the door.” Many of the luminaries came directly from the American Music Awards that took place that evening. The […]

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

Old friends and the dream contest

Rodney, Todd and Keith had been best buddies since elementary school. Now in their 50s, they meet for lunch periodically to laugh and catch up. Their conversations cover everything from sports to politics to movies. Today it was dreams. Whatever the topic, it always turned into a testosterone-fueled competition. “So I had this dream last […]

October 12, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Examining Cordelia’s The X Ray newspaper

Cordelia’s The X Ray was a newspaper published every Friday that debuted in February 1897. Its boast next to the nameplate was that it was the “only paper published in beautiful Green Valley.” The original editor/proprietor was Dan H. White, who later became Solano County superintendent of schools. I was able to peruse several vintage […]

October 09, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Bumpies recognize special locals

It’s time to announce the winners of the third annual Fairfield Fist Bump Awards, known affectionately as the Bumpies. The winners are chosen by an executive committee of two consisting of myself and that guy who lives in my mirror. The Bumpies are an appreciative tip of the hat or, more accurately, a gentle yet deliberate […]

October 05, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

60 years worth of Disneyland memories

Disneyland is nicknamed The Happiest Place on Earth and is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015. The park’s grand opening however, was anything but happy. On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney’s $17 million, 160-acre dream became a reality and kicked off with an Invitational Press Review broadcast live to 90 million people. The event was hosted […]

October 02, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Let’s get serious this week

A column with the title “The Last Laugh” is probably the last place you’d expect to read several hundred words on the topics of cancer and suicide, but this is the forum that I have. In my defense, I wanted to name this column “Tastes Like Chicken” to lower the expectation of it always shooting for […]

September 28, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

This…is…Old School Fairfield Jeopardy!

“This former publisher of the Solano Republican newspaper once wrote a book about the founder of Fairfield titled, ‘That Fabulous Captain Waterman,’” Alex Trebek read. “Yes, Ted?” “Who was David A. Weir?” Ted said. “That is correct for $400,” Alex said. “Ted, you’re in control of the board.” “I’ll take ‘Gone But Not Forgotten” for […]

September 25, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

The Raiders prove the accuracy of a Klingon proverb

On Sunday, Mo showed up at the scorching Oakland Coliseum (I refuse to call it anything else). Mo as in momentum. Shockingly, for much of the game he was on the Raiders’ sideline. Jumping out to a 10-0 lead courtesy of the first AC/DC (Amari Cooper/Derek Carr) touchdown (68 yards) and a Jano field goal […]

September 23, 2015 | Posted in Sports | Tagged ,

More than you want to know about toilets

I was given an assignment in an English class at Solano College by one of my all-time favorite instructors, Nan Wishner, in the 1980s. It was to choose, research and make a presentation to the class on any topic. I chose “The History of the Toilet.” Back in those pre-Internet days, I only found two […]

September 21, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

How did you get here?

The answer to “How did you get here?” with regard to Fairfield usually has something to do with Travis Air Force Base, but not always. For my family, it came down to friendship. Well, and the military, but the Navy, not the Air Force. Don and Lorean Clark and their children, Richard and Brendyl, were friends […]

September 18, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

The Raiders’ season starts with an acid-blooded mother and a Snake sendoff

So…chicken? No, that’s way too small. Ostrich is closer, as is dinosaur. Wait, I’ve got it. The best description of the colossal egg the Raiders laid on Sunday are ones from the acid-blooded creature from the “Alien” movies. Unfortunately for we members of the Raider Nation, the horrific performance by the team on kickoff weekend […]

September 16, 2015 | Posted in Sports columnists | Tagged ,

Rod McKuen returns to Fairfield High School after 41 years

I walked into the Sam Tracas Administration Building at Fairfield High School last Tuesday and said, “I’m here to return a library book . . . from 1974.” Now, it wasn’t my book. I attended the original Fairfield High School across town, Armijo High. The culprit was Fairfield High Class of 1976 grad Chris DiGiorgio. […]

September 14, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,
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