Sunday, December 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Looking back at the original Fairfield High Falcons

By
From page A2 | August 31, 2012 |

The 1967-1968 Student Falcon Guide. Click to view gallery.

The 1967-1968 Student Falcon Guide. Click to view gallery.

The roots of Armijo High, my alma mater, go back to 1891. For decades it was the only high school in Fairfield. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, a population boom fueled in part by Travis Air Force Base, the creation of Interstate 80 and the attraction of Fairfield’s advantageous geographic location accelerated the need for a second high school.

Fairfield High School was originally part of the Armijo Joint Union High School District and their first principal, Sam Tracas, had been an Armijo vice principal. The 1964 Armijo yearbook contained a greeting/friendly challenge for the new school:

“We encourage them to compete with us in a race for excellence in scholarship, citizenship, athletics and other worthwhile activities.”

Fairfield High broke ground in 1963 and started receiving some students in 1964. Since construction was still taking place, students took part of their classes at the new school and were bused to Armijo for others.

Then-student Shar Richardson-Smalarz hated going to Armijo in the mornings because her friends went in the afternoons. For others, though, it worked.

Carol Dillon Potter: “My family lived across the street behind what is now Kmart, which back then was an empty field. I was lucky enough to go to Armijo in the morning and Fairfield in the afternoon and walk home from there.”

Developing a school culture is important and Fairfield needed a mascot, school song and more. Some locals, who back then were eighth-graders who would be incoming freshman the next year, recall being allowed to choose those things. Others remember it as not being quite so democratic.

Jim Parks: “I remember being bused over to the campus with the other eighth-graders. We were to vote on the school colors, mascot and other things. What I also remember was that these things were already decided, but they let us feel like we were the ones who chose. We were told that the colors would probably be red and white because they were the cheapest, but to go ahead and vote anyway.”

Some interesting remembrances from various early Falcons:

  • The first few years’ lunches were from vending machines — hamburgers, French bread and spaghetti — prepared in a kitchen near where the gym is now.
  • They had no field, so the freshman football team would jaywalk across Air Base Parkway in the afternoon for practice at Dover School.
  • Instead of homecoming, they had Pigskin Prom and named a Pigskin Queen.

Soon after the school was established, crosstown rivalry pranks began in earnest.

Marianne Israel Jennings: “We put chicken manure on the Armijo campus. They hung a live chicken from our gym. (A classmate) rescued him and he became our mascot!”

On June 7, 1968, members of the first senior class of Fairfield High received their diplomas in the quad with Kay Jenkins given the honor of being the very first Falcon to graduate.

But . . . while the class of 1968 may have had the first graduating seniors such as Janice (Beck) Birk, the class of 1969 — which included Janice’s sister Tamara (Beck) Watson — was the first to go all four years exclusively at the new school. I’ll let them decide who the true “original” Falcons are.

Dan Monez: “I graduated in Fairfield High School’s first class of 1968 and we all got to write our names in the new cement in the quad where the big red ‘F’ was.”

Sadly, the 1968 cement has not survived, but a 1969 memorial, a slab of concrete topped with a now nearly illegible plaque, has.

Generations of Fairfield graduates have now made their mark on the world by becoming productive citizens and lately had even splashier accomplishments with one winning a Pulitzer Prize and another an Olympic gold medal.

Looking back at the friendly challenge issued in the 1964 Armijo yearbook, this Indian must begrudgingly admit that our crosstown rivals have more than held their own.

First Fairfield High School principal Tracas, now 85, still calls Fairfield home.

“I’ve always tried to explain to students that the road to success is through education. Education may not make you rich, but it can bring a lot of satisfaction to your life. You can never get enough education,” Tracas said.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

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

  • FF64August 31, 2012 - 6:47 pm

    Actually the original names in the "F" are still there They are nearly unreadable under many coats of paint.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

New circulation director for Daily Republic has California roots

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun’s transformation launched 25 years ago

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Picking the year’s biggest story: A playoff

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Kwanzaa educates, celebrates African-American heritage

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
AARP tax program seeks volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Holiday shopping continues after Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Rush Ranch plans birds of prey workshop

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Winter feeding of backyard birds

By Launa Herrmann | From Page: C4

 
Weather for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Market predictions for 2015

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Projects to watch in 2015

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Shoppers brawl inside Northern California mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police in San Diego suburb give cash at traffic stops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Death penalty states unmoved by botched execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
San Diego sees costs balloon for outdoor public toilets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Arizona police officer, suspect killed in shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lava creeps 15 yards closer to Hawaii marketplace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
School error takes money from staff bank accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Protester in St. Louis area charged with arson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 small planes collide in Maryland; no injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

School bans ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts at tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Families take future war dogs into homes as foster pups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Woman uses quilt to help those in military

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Del. WWII vet honored with medals 70 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Snow, ice sweep Europe, stranding drivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pilot recalls last flight to Cyprus airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Wanted extremist leader surrenders in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Sound Off: Dec. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
Redrawn districts made for some tight races

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Putin’s epic annual news conference, condensed

By Ishaan Tharoor | From Page: A8

 
Leaders fan flames of racial hatred

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Why do we celebrate Christmas, part two

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Comforting immigrants is nun’s mission

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Pope’s role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bethel Community Church buys Temple Baptist site

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Coping with mental illness or loss during holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: C4

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My son’s cat is being neglected and I don’t know what to do

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Blagojevich brother: I was fed ‘pawn’ to get then-governor

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Company loses bid for rights to Marvel superheroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jonah Lehrer working on book about digital life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Warriors shake off skid, beat Timberwolves 110-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 1 Kentucky holds off No. 4 Louisville 58-50

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Vanden’s Koss named 2014 DR Male Athlete of the Year

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Broncos see a much better Raiders team this time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cardinals have hopes of division crown, 12 wins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sam: Coming out was right thing to do

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vikings stadium builders work on career highlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Authorities question Cubs’ Castro after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns suspend receiver Josh Gordon, Manziel late

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sports deaths: elegant Tony Gwynn, Jean Beliveau

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bowling report for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

First Step seeks players, help for 2015 season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Devil Dawgs retiring after run of success

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Virginia Tech beats Cincy 33-17 in Military Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
S Carolina tops Miami 24-21 in Independence Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Arizona State beats Duke 36-31 in Sun Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 in OT in Pinstripe Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Kessler leads No. 24 USC to 45-42 win over Huskers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

US company to open tuna cannery in American Samoa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

6 US cities: Good jobs but hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Judy Zamora Rogers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Concordia Albang Lichauco

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Oriole Ernestine Cohen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Rae Jean Malveaux

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Secrets of Success 2014

120 Years: Fentons still a treat after all this time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: SOS2 | Gallery

80 Years: Gillespie’s adapts to meet customer needs, thrives

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS5 | Gallery

60 Years: Ryan’s Automotive hits milestone of service

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS6 | Gallery

55 Years: Mary’s Pizza Shack keeps dishing the pies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

50 Years: Cal Yee Farms marks half-century – and counting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

40 Years: Floors To Go weathers recession, bounces back strong

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS8 | Gallery

40 Years: Vaca Valley Auto Parts a Fairfield mainstay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS9 | Gallery

35 Years: Vogelpohl prides herself as problem solver

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Medic Ambulance rolling strong

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Scandia Family Fun Center roots run deep

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

30 Years: North Bay Pediatrics serves children, parents

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

35 Years: More than 1,700 home sales – and counting – for Watson

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

30 Years: Sportabout all about tennis – and shoes of all sorts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

25 Years: It’s always showtime for Fairfield’s Finger

By Tony Wade | From Page: SOS12 | Gallery

25 Years: Feins helps build memories through Air Land & Sea Travel

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

25 Years: The Hair Place celebrates quarter-century of cuts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

20 Years: Quality breeds success for Universal Painting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS14 | Gallery

10 Years: By the People helps with basic, complex legal issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery

10 Years: Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe adds new wrinkle at decade mark

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery