A pair of Fairfield High School graduates meeting a long way from home – and in circumstances far different from walking the halls of their alma mater – tops this week’s collection of good news from around the region.
A pair of Fairfield High School graduates met in an unusual place recently – aboard the USS Constitution in Boston.
Leonard Anderson, a 1996 graduate of the school, is a senior chief petty officer in the Navy. He’s a submariner was most recently assigned to Commander, Submarine Forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was at the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island when his class took a trip to Boston to – among other things – visit the USS Constitution. It’s the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat and is America’s Ship of State.
The executive officer of the USS Constitution is Lt. Cmdr. Eric Coop, a 1997 FHS graduate – who was close friends with Anderson while they were in the Junior ROTC program in high school.
“My grandfather served in the Navy and later transitioned to the Air Force,” Coop said in a press release about their meeting. “I looked up to my grandfather and planned to join the Air Force after high school.”
Instead, Coop earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Anderson said the Navy was “a calling” for him.
“From the day I started basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois, I knew I wanted to be a chief petty officer,” he said in the release. “It seemed like a high mountain to climb at first, but I have 18 years in now and am going to become the chief of the boat (the highest enlisted position on a submarine.)”
Visitors to Vacaville’s Peña Adobe Park in early August got a special treat – a visit from great-great-granddaughter of Juan Felipe Peña, the namesake of the adobe at the park.
Cecelia Peña traveled from Oakland to spend the day, bringing along her son Adam Kendell, the curator of collections at the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry in San Francisco. She shared stories and pictures of her family and chatted with visitors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Cricket Kanouff, the president of the Peña Adobe Historical Society.
Juan Felipe Peña and Isabella Gonsalves built Pena Adobe in 1842 and had six children. Their fourth child, Juan Anontio Peña, was 12 when the family moved to California and he and his wife had seven children, one of whom was Vidal, who is Cecilia’s grandfather.
History certainly came alive for those lucky enough to be at the Peña Adobe event.
Paradise Valley Estates residents Jack and Carla Sorelle celebrated their 70th anniversary Thursday with family at their home.
They were high school sweethearts who eloped in Cincinnati in 1944. Jack was a pilot who was shot down twice over Germany during World War II. He worked as a newspaper reporter before returning to the military and serving in Korea and Vietnam.
Their children are Mary Ward of Ventura and Lana Sorrelle of Tiburon. Their granddaughter Morgan Ward lives in Alameda.
Congratulations to an amazing couple.
A couple of local groups made significant donations to Fairfield-Suisun schools in recent weeks.
The Rolling Hills Parent Teacher Organization donated $13,100 for a Chromebook lab and cart at the Rolling Hills Elementary School in Fairfield.
Meanwhile, Soroptimist International of Central Solano County donated $600 for uniforms at the Public Safety Academy in Fairfield.
Thanks to both groups.