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Monday, April 21, 2014
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Author Archive: Tony Wade

Heroes for Hire event goes haywire

It looked like a comic book convention at the Morrison Hotel, but the caped and costumed throng seated in the main ballroom were not fans, but actual superheroes. Kelly Mair, executive director of Heroes for Hire, gently blew on the microphone before welcoming everyone and introducing herself. “Our company recognizes that while saving the world […]

Lake Berryessa memories and the lost town of Monticello

“Going to the lake” – the lake in this context being Lake Berryessa – elicits lots of memories of carefree fun for me, including: Numerous trips with Debbie Phillips, Phil Olivares, John Nolan, Kathleen Mahoney and others in the early 1980s, listening to John Cougar’s “American Fool.” Going to Oak Shores with Ben Kusaka, Darin […]

April 18, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Here are some of my pet peeves

I try to cultivate an attitude of gratitude most days, but don’t always succeed. When I don’t, it’s usually because I have been exposed to one of my numerous pet peeves. Here is a partial list: Public speakers who talk too long: I don’t care if you are giving a stirring speech using impressive elocution; […]

Ordinary Folk History: Warren Sheldon

Note: “Ordinary Folk History,” written snapshots of local residents, appears periodically. Retired school administrator and lifelong Fairfield resident Warren Sheldon, 77, has deep roots in Solano County. “The first Sheldon here was Jasper, my great-great-grandfather, who was born in New York and moved to Ohio. He came to California in 1849 looking for gold,” Sheldon said. […]

The Last Laugh celebrates 7 years

The Last Laugh turns 7 this month! I appreciated the decorative bunting the Daily Republic hung outside its Texas Street office in celebration. Giving free bobble head dolls of me wearing a No. 7 Oakland Raiders jersey to all subscribers was also nice (but Kyle Boller? Really? How about Steve Beuerlein at least?). I think […]

‘Moon Over Buffalo’ is a door-slamming funfest

I am a sucker for humorous plays that rely on the audience knowing things that the characters onstage don’t, so Solano College Theatre Department’s current production, “Moon Over Buffalo,” was right up my alley. Before the show, director Carla Spindt took the stage and thanked us, the Sunday matinee audience, for eschewing the seduction of […]

Detective Mark Smith survives 1989 shooting

Former Fairfield police Detective Mark Smith is grateful to be alive, 25 years after being shot and seriously wounded by a suspected drug dealer. At 1:42 a.m. Feb. 24, 1989, the Oakland Police Department, with assistance from Fairfield police, went to search the home of Roberto Adolpho Ramirez on Hayes Street in Fairfield. “In the […]

‘Godspell’ a heavenly triumph

FAIRFIELD — Sunday School was never quite like this. Missouri Street Theatre’s current triumphant production of “Godspell” tells the story of Jesus Christ, specifically his teachings using parables, then his crucifixion and resurrection. Instead of storytelling flannelgraphs on easels and memory verses, however, they use rock and roll coupled with humorous and poignant performances from a […]

Monty Crest fights for sanity in the vanpool

Monty Crest’s commute to work only took about 45 minutes, but it always seemed so much longer. The vanpool he joined last November saved him the aggravation of navigating daily through gridlock, but it came with a price. The other people he shared his daily ride to and from his job in the city as […]

From drugs, prison to Christian missionary

FAIRFIELD — Tony “Freddy B.” Adams was a West Coast rap pioneer whose partnership with Todd Shaw, aka Too $hort, was derailed when Adams’ lifestyle landed him in prison. Now, as the division director of evangelism/mission at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield, Adams helps steer young people away from negativity, aids the less fortunate […]

Musical ‘Godspell’ sings its way to Fairfield stage

FAIRFIELD—In musical theater, the term “the book” refers to the libretto or narrative that ties the story together. In the case of “Godspell,” the current Missouri Street Theatre production, the book that its book was based on, the Bible, was written nearly 2,000 years ago. “Godspell” is a musical by Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin”) with a […]

Fairfield filmmaker to be featured guest at Sacramento horror convention

FAIRFIELD — Sacramento’s first Twisted Terror Convention is an opportunity for fans to watch screenings of horror films and meet purveyors of the craft including Chandler Riggs of “The Walking Dead” and Michael Berryman of “The Hills Have Eyes.” For Solano County residents, one of their own, filmmaker and 1973 Fairfield High graduate, Kevin S. […]

Tenney’s local Super 8 features predated ‘Witchboard’

I remember watching “Witchboard” on a VHS tape I rented from Suisun City’s Popcorn Video in the late 1980s and being excited, as it was set in Fairfield. Kevin S. Tenney, a 1973 graduate of Fairfield High, wrote and directed the 1986 film and it holds up nearly 30 years later because of the story […]

Benicia’s inaugural film festival features variety, local films

FAIRFIELD — Three years in the making, the Benicia Film Festival’s mission is to expand the arts and culture of the city and acknowledge creative contributions by members of the community. The three-day event, April 4-6, is sponsored by the Benicia Arts and Culture Commission. “There has never been a film festival in Benicia before. […]

By the way, I am tall

Many folks are captivated by us tall people. My standard answer now for when anyone asks me my height is “5-foot-16.” For those who are not math whizzes, that is 6 feet 4 inches tall. The average male height in the U.S. is 5 feet 10 inches. So I am considered tall. Actually, I have […]

Back in the Day reaches triple digits

Drumroll, please (and add a lil’ cowbell) . . . this offering is my 100th Back in the Day column. I wrote a Monday column in 2011 called “Back to the Future of Fairfield’s Past.” It was about me going back Marty McFly-style to 1976, when my family moved here. Instead of a DeLorean, I […]

Farcical funnies, college theater opens ‘Moon over Buffalo’

FAIRFIELD — Solano College Theatre instructor/director Carla Spindt is known locally as “The Queen of Farce” for delivering rib-tickling theatrical fare with the college as well as Solano Repertory Theatre Company, where she is the artistic director. Spindt hopes to carry on her tradition with “Moon over Buffalo,” Solano College Theatre’s latest production. “ ‘Moon over Buffalo’ […]

Fairfield rapper prepares to drop debut album

FAIRFIELD — Rapper Sage the Gemini – 21-year-old Fairfield native Dominic Woods – is a local success story, with a platinum single “Gas Pedal” and a follow-up gold single “Red Nose” under his belt. The next step in his career is the release of his debut album “Remember Me” on Tuesday. While pleased by his […]

Air Supply brings the love to Vacaville

VACAVILLE — Members of the Australian adult contemporary group Air Supply have enjoyed a career spanning nearly 40 years. On the strength of numerous hits including “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Even the Nights Are Better” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All,” among others, they continue to tour extensively. One of […]

After Red Carpet Gala 2.0, I’m an emcee for hire

Patty Amador, then-features editor at the Daily Republic, asked me in 2008 if I wanted to be involved in the Arty Awards that salute excellence in local theater. I thought she meant announcing an award winner. She instead asked me to emcee. Besides one speech class I had at Solano College and talking to imaginary […]

Let’s remember those who inspired us

Many of the people who inspired me went to my church, the Fairfield Church of Christ. They include Elmer Power for his servant heart, John Gibson for his wisdom and Judy Muehring for her beautiful spirit. Solano College creative writing teacher Nan Wishner taught me to get my feelings out of my head and onto […]

Wonder Woman vs. The Rifleman in Scrabble

Gus Frader took Scrabble seriously. Oh, not as seriously as people who played in tournaments and studied word lists like they were memorizing sacred texts, but more seriously than the “blue hairs” who attended his weekly Scrabble Club. Gus was taught the game by his mother and had played it for 67 of his 78 […]

‘Shot in the dark’ Facebook message brings family together

FAIRFIELD — Sara Batres, an adopted 32-year-old Sacramento attorney, posted a picture of herself Feb. 16 on Facebook, holding a sign asking for help locating her biological father. It said she was born in Fairfield on May 28, 1981, and included her mother’s name, Darby Childress, and her own birth name, Shale Taraida. Her post […]

Armijo’s MAYO mural: Symbol of pride, target for vandals

A couple of years ago, I called Armijo High School to ask them if they knew anything about the mural that was once on A-wing, featuring scenes from Mexican-American history. It faced Washington Street and was eye-catching because of the bright colors and images painted on it. No one there had ever heard of it. During […]

March 07, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Prepare to yawn as I reveal my 1970s diary

In 1974 when I was 10 years old, I started keeping a diary because I saw an episode of “Gilligan’s Island” where Gilligan had one. To say my sporadic entries were not that insightful is like saying amoebas are kinda small. I happened across it in August 2012 and posted excerpts to my Facebook page. […]

Local folks’ all-time favorite flicks

“The Wizard of Oz” is my all-time favorite movie and has been since childhood. How much do I love it? Well, as a kid, it was an annual television event and the day after it aired, I would always act it out with my neighbor Vicky Stevens as Dorothy and me as the Scarecrow (insert your own joke […]

February 28, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged | 1 Reply

Songs that have questions? I have answers

There are numerous songs with titles that are questions, but no one has ever taken the time to answer them. Until today: Q. The Beatles: “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” A. Well, if the road is in Suisun City, I could see it because we could be out of sight in a […]

The 7 ArtDivas turn 10

FAIRFIELD — In 2004, three longtime members of the Fairfield Visual Arts Association, Ann Jacobs, Anna Maria Sablan and Brigitte Sukeforth, got together and decided to stretch their artistic muscles beyond painting and push the boundaries of what art could be. Thus the ArtDivas were born.  Later that year a few other women embraced their […]

Comedy of bozos coming to local venue

FAIRFIELD — A dearth of local places for stand-up comedians to ply their craft is what led Kevin Carbajal to, at least temporarily, replace his stand-up comic performer’s hat with a stand-up comic producer’s hat in order to get the Bozos Invade Bozo’s evening of comedy off the ground. The show at Bozo’s Bandwagon, off […]

February 21, 2014 | Posted in Entertainment-local | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Rodney Perry prepares to make Solano County LOL

FAIRFIELD — Rodney Perry headlines “LOL,” a night of comedy at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts that expects its audience to, well, laugh out loud. Perry is no stranger to Fairfield, but hasn’t been to the Solano County seat since 2012 when he performed at Pepperbelly’s, which suffered a catastrophic fire in 2013. “Man, […]

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