Monday, December 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

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

Left, the gatefold picture of the M.A.Y.O. mural from the 1981 La Mezcla yearbook.  Pictured left to right are Naomi Reyla , Celestino Galabasa, Sandra Gerato,  and Martin Padilla. Right, the defaced mural in the 1982 La Mezcla yearbook (click picture to view gallery)

Left, the gatefold picture of the M.A.Y.O. mural from the 1981 La Mezcla yearbook. Pictured left to right are Naomi Reyla , Celestino Galabasa, Sandra Gerato, and Martin Padilla. Right, the defaced mural in the 1982 La Mezcla yearbook (click picture to view gallery)

By
From page A2 | March 07, 2014 |

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 the summer of 1980, several students from the Mexican American Youth Organization painted the mural. Celestino Galabasa was not an Armijo student – he lived in Rio Vista – but he had cousins in MAYO.

“They knew I knew how to draw so they recruited me,” Galabasa said. “Raquel Ortega Rodriguez headed the whole thing and she went to the school and got the approval.”

The youth group got a professional muralist named Juanishi Orosco (he did the butterfly mural at Macy’s K Street mall in Sacramento) to do the layout and the actual painting took most of the summer.

“We had meetings and discussed what we were going to put on each panel and I was the main artist involved and showed them where to put, say, a face here or a car there,” Galabasa said.

Since the canvas they were using was first a wall, there were some obstacles. There was a bell and a grating that had to be somehow incorporated into the piece. The bell become a sun and the grate was used in a clever way.

“We made it the grill of a truck. It was the one owned by my cousin Cathy Ortiz and she was painted in driving it,” Galabasa said. “If you look at the license plate it says ‘BABA’ because we used to call her ‘Baba Looey.’ “

The mural depicted people from Mexico’s history, including revolutionaries Emiliano Zapata and Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. It also included a poem called “The Chicano” and a caravan of vehicles featuring, like Galabasa’s cousin, real vehicles of MAYO members and the members themselves.

“There is a ’66 Chevelle and that was my car. I’m in that car and my girlfriend at the time is in the car with me and her little sister, too,” Galabasa said. “It was a fun summer.”

Creating the mural was a group effort. Even a stranger helped.

“A lady who came by and saw it said she wanted to add the Aztec calendar to it and it took her a long time because it was very detailed,” Galabasa said.

The mural was dedicated Sept. 27, 1980, to the Armijo student body. Many students of all races did enjoy it, but soon vandals repeatedly defaced it with paint.

While not condoning criminal behavior, Galabasa could understand why some may have wondered why there was only a mural depicting Mexican-American heritage and not others. Still, Armijo did have other walls. Panels were touched up and even changed after being vandalized

“Where the Aztec calendar once was, I instead added a guy in a Zoot suit with a really sexy lady,” Galabasa said. “I also tried to incorporate faces of people from different races to try and make it more multicultural.”

The repeated vandalism to the mural was devastating to MAYO club members.

“Monday would come and we would go to school and hope that the mural was still intact. I remember how disappointing it was when we would get there and it would be defaced again,” MAYO member and class of 1984 graduate Margarita Lopez said. “It was very upsetting. Some of us were angry and some of us were scared. We wondered what was going to happen next. Was there going to be some sort of a fight?”

No matter how many times it was touched up and repainted, the mural was repeatedly vandalized. The 1981 Armijo La Mezcla yearbook featured a gatefold picture of the then-new mural and the next year’s edition included a picture of it defaced with paint.

Galabasa also worked on a mural for Vacaville High that was never vandalized (although there is now a new mural painted over the original), partly because it was behind two fences.

Eventually the MAYO mural was painted over and today many never even knew it was there.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Suisun1March 07, 2014 - 7:59 am

    Great piece on uncovering lost history. Would be wonderful to see the mural re-established. I'm not Mexican-American but am an American and am grateful for the artistic contributions where murals are still preserved--the Mission, lots of places in LA, etc. There needs to be more public art in Fairfield, especially the kind that engages youth and appeals to them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Christmas comes early to San Marco Street park

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Travis squadron delivers Christmas gifts to East Tabor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

How this chunky Wade met Chunky Wade

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Multiple car accident blocks I-80 in Vacaville

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Solano Kwanzaa celebration set for Vallejo return

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Lawyers off free legal advice in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
 
Famous Creations’ toy drive and cupcake sale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Last-minute shopping at Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Kitchen fire dislocates family for Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Timeline of events before and after NY cop deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in ambush

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
What’s being said about killings of 2 NYC officers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Killer of 2 NYC officers had long criminal history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Florida authorities say 1 police officer shot and killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Satanic Temple puts up display at Michigan Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia’s new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Opinion

Faust and the 2015 federal budget

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8

 
Obama, surgeon general still losing to NRA

By Francis Wilkinson | From Page: A8

Let the music begin

By Colleen Britton | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
 
Horoscopes: Dec. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Review: ‘The Interview’ deserves to be seen

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B7

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
TVGrid Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

‘Hobbit’ goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Sports

The Week Ahead: Not much of a break for Christmas

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Steelers, Packers win, move into playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders knock Bills out of playoffs with 26-24 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings snap 5-game losing skid, beat Lakers 108-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Burns gives Sharks late-night win over Blues in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Super-G crash makes Vonn wait in bid for record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL Roundup: Cowboys end 4-year drought, make playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
7 hurt when lightning strikes near Tampa Bay game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

India’s Arjun Atwal wins Dubai Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Documents: FSU QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Survey: US gas prices fall 25 cents per gallon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sudoku Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7