I have now emceed the Arty Awards, honoring outstanding Solano County theater, for an unprecedented five straight years and on Sept. 8, it will be six. Truth be told, however, besides the annual Arty party I get to be a part of, I am not a big fan of award shows.
But I am a big (6 feet 4 inches tall) fan of award columns. Today, I present the debut of the Fairfield Fist Bump Awards, affectionately known as “The Bumpies.” They are a tip of the hat or, more accurately, a gentle but deliberate meeting of the knuckles, that celebrate certain segments of the Solano County Seat.
The Bumpie nomination process is extensive. To qualify, a nominee must have popped into my head as I wrote this column. That’s . . . pretty much it. So without further ado, here they are.
It is with great pleasure that I bestow a Fairfield Fist Bump Award to:
The Matt Garcia Foundation for giving hands and feet to keeping the dream alive. Slain Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia possessed the passion of youth and yet had the “old soul” vision of a man far beyond his years. The wildfire of community activism that he ignited has not died. Matt taught me to love where I call home and to always strive to be a blessing and not a burden.
Rick Williams of Rick Williams Investigations for starting the “I Grew Up in Fairfield Too” Facebook group. His simple action four years ago has resulted in a group now numbering more than 4,300 members who have connected because we now have a forum to share memories. There are also tons of photographs, vintage microfilm and video as well. It is a historical – and fun – treasure trove of information about the city and the people who live and lived here.
The Waving Chief Solano Statue for stickin’ around since 1938 and holding up an old school fist bump, a wave. Now, I am heterosexual, but I have to say that I would rather see the chief’s sculpted backside than that hideous Government Center lurking behind (bonus pun) him.
Fairfield teachers who practice their art diligently and touch the lives of students in exponential ways. I recently had an opportunity to interview a number of former Armijo High faculty members for a special issue of the Armijo Alumni Association’s newsletter. One of them was Rebecca Lum. It was wonderful to reconnect with her (she sounds exactly as she did 30-plus years ago and only looks slightly older), as well as others like Mr. Scherr and Coach Dahl. A special Bumpie Award goes to educators who were honored by having a school named after them, which later closed. That includes H. Glenn Richardson, Charles L. Sullivan, Mary Bird, Amy Blanc and others I either forgot or did not know about.
The Budweiser Clydesdales, just because I think the image of a person giving a horse a fist bump is amusing.
Fairfield artists, whether visual, musical or performing, who touch and inspire that part of me that my stupid cat could never understand or appreciate.
Jelly Belly, the Budweiser plant, Travis Air Force Base, the Solano Town Center mall, Captain Waterman and some map-making dude for putting Fairfield on the map.
Fairfield small business owners past and present because while I ain’t mad at the chain stores, my experience in the aforementioned “I Grew Up in Fairfield Too” Facebook group is that when people fondly recall patronizing businesses, it usually ain’t the chains they are excited about. Whether buying candy at the D & C Variety store, dining at The Hut or Dick’s Seafood Grotto or purchasing the latest hits at Simond’s (or later Eucalyptus) Records, it’s small businesses that usually bring back the smiles.
The Delta Breeze. It gets hot here sometimes and when we first moved here in 1976, I’d never experienced 100-degree temperatures before. Still, this ain’t Houston. You can rest assured that the forgiving Fairfield breeze is on the way.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.