Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ordinary folk history: Abe Bautista

A recent picture of Abe Bautista superimposed onto a postcard from the Fairfield of his childhood. Click picture to view gallery.

A recent picture of Abe Bautista superimposed onto a postcard from the Fairfield of his childhood. Click picture to view gallery.

By
From page A2 | December 06, 2013 | 2 Comments

Note: “Ordinary Folk History,” written snapshots of local residents, will appear periodically.

A few years ago, local government access television station Channel 26 produced a series of Fairfield “My City” promo spots using longtime residents. Casting Abe Bautista in one of them was a no-brainer.

Bautista was born and raised in Solano County’s seat and was delivered by Dr. Milton Smith at the old Bunney Hospital, which used to be on Empire Street, in 1949.

“I went to Mark G. Woods Elementary School, which was a block away from my house. It seems like all of the teachers there became locally famous,” Bautista said. “Mrs. Root was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson was my first-grade teacher, Amy Blanc was my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Cleo Gordon was my third-grade teacher, and Ruth Holly was my fourth-grade teacher.”

Bautista recalls spending hours with friends on the playground at his school.

“You could play until the sun went down,” he said. “I would still be swinging on the monkey bars until Mrs. Amy Blanc, who lived across the street from the school, would come out and say, ‘Now Abe, you better go home now. It’s getting late.’ ”

Memories of the Fairfield of yesteryear are fresh in Bautista’s mind even after half a century.

“Where the city hall complex is now is where Waterman Park used to be – where a lot of military people lived. At the end of Ohio Street when it rained it would flood and me and David Rivera would ride out on rafts and shoot snakes with bows and arrows,” Bautista said.

In later life, Bautista became a businessman, but his entrepreneurship started early.

“I used to sell the Solano Republican (predecessor to the Daily Republic) with Jimmy Hasbrouk,” Bautista said. “My customers for the paper were up and down Texas Street and I also sold seeds for flowers. The reason I sold the paper is that they gave you a small return, but they also gave you tickets for movies at Solano Theater (later Fairfield Cinema I and still later, Pepperbelly’s).”

Bautista called Manuel Campos “Mr. Food Fair” and would frequent Flaky Cream Donuts, Johnson’s Bakery, JC Penney and Freitas Toggery – the only place in town at the time to get Levi’s jeans.

“One of the places I really liked downtown was Loren’s Fountain, it was just like ‘Happy Days’ – ice cream, soda jerks, kids listening to music. They wouldn’t let me in because I was still young . . . but I would sneak in,” Bautista said.

Later in high school, there were lots of things to do on weekends, such as going to Redman’s Roller Rink.

“Every Friday night there was a good fight there, but simple ones, not like today with gangs,” Bautista said. “Other times we would go to the bowling alley. That was where we had our high school all-night graduation party. We bowled all night, danced all night, had lots of food, and it was in a controlled environment.”

Bautista loved sports and played quarterback while at Fairfield Elementary School, but when he tried out for the high school football team, so many of the other kids had grown over the summer he could no longer pass the ball over their heads. He switched to tennis at Armijo High and excelled.

Although Bautista graduated in 1967, the watershed “Summer of Love” in the counterculture movement, his infatuation with the flower children met cold reality.

“Me and my best friend decided we wanted to be hippies so one day we skipped out of school and went to San Francisco,” Bautista said. “I realized I could not be a hippie because there was no way I could walk barefoot in the street. I was worried about catching some disease.”

In later years, Bautista made a name for himself locally on the school board, through decades of service with Holy Spirit Catholic Church and as a musician. Recently he has persevered over numerous health issues, all with his wife of 40 years, Remy, by his side.

The Fairfield of Bautista’s youth holds an almost magical appeal when he speaks of it.

“It was my ‘Leave it to Beaver’ time,” Bautista said. ”Those were very happy times.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at tonybethkaci@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 | 2 comments

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

.

Solano News

 
Transplant recipients talk about their best gifts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Solano unemployment inches downward

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
 
Spering, Bertani spar over fighting crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 22 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield council candidates weigh in on crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

Police release name of woman found dead in Fairfield canal

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Five homes featured on Symphony Home Tour

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Congregation invites public to Easter music, message

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Local woman helps spread Easter joy

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B12 | Gallery

Weather for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B13

 
.

US / World

California farmers to get more water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teen sentenced in Oakland toddler’s killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

More Latino than white students admitted to UC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Mom and son who died in San Francisco fire ID’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

3 alleged gang members convicted of murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

From Clinton to Obama, many parallels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Easter on 4/20, pot holy day; pastors reach out

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
NASA’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Atheist national conference aims at Mormon church

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

 
SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Sudden movement raises alarm in Wyoming slide area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Some countries get Obama, but want his wife, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

White House updating online privacy policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
In Egypt, a corruption watchdog hit by backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Military scales down, modifies Guam buildup plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Captain of sunken SKorean ferry arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Diplomacy doesn’t move insurgents in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine crisis: The turning points

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of April 13-19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Here we go again in Sacramento

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Seniors, it’s never too late to do something about your health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Prince reaches agreement with music label

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

‘The Boondocks’ back for final ‘offensive’ season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

Stratocaster still a favorite at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Sports

Warriors and Clippers take dislike to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Big innings lift Mustangs over Indians

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ross, Padres beat Cain and Giants 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s come out swinging to beat Astros 11-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors to start O’Neal for Bogut vs. Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hertl has impressive playoff debut for Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Mets trade 1B Ike Davis to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
TNT’s Sager to miss NBA playoffs due to leukemia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
A’s lefty reliever Doolittle gets 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

’40-and-up club’: Ageless Hopkins after more belts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jimenez shoots 65 to lead Greater Gwinnett field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Solano scores in ninth for 2-1 BVC baseball win over Yuba

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Choi leads rain-delayed RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NBA’s Silver wants age limit change, no rush on others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA playoffs looking more wide-open than expected

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Source: Grizzlies’ G Calathes suspended for 20 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Judge says American can’t end retiree benefits yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 04/19/14

Summerwood features 8 new homes in Suisun

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3