Back in the Day: Fairfield Daily Republic's 'Talk of the Towns' was news for a differ


The following Back in the Day column was originally published in the Fairfield Daily Republic on Feb. 27, 2015

By Tony Wade

For decades the Fairfield Daily Republic had a column about the goings-on of local residents called “Talk of the Towns.” These days, such a column might possibly be called “Gettin’ All Up In Your Business.”

I collected several samples from the February 1965 and February 1975 papers (entries are in quotation marks). I was taken aback by how seemingly mundane things like taking someone out to dinner for their birthday could be worthy of a mention in the paper, but Fairfield was much smaller then.

The column’s conversational tone made me laugh out loud while at the library’s microfilm machine, which was a lil’ awkward.

Oh, and a special treat was finding this: “Nancy Ann Taylor is on stork leave from the Fairfield Loan Office” about my friend Nanciann Gregg, then soon to give birth to her son, Eddie. I knew it was her because her name is constantly misspelled.

1965 Talk of the Towns entries by Jane

• “Barbara Beaulieu is away from her job at the Solano County Library having sustained an injured leg in a skiing accident at Travis Lodge.”

• “Ben Fiori, who is in the grocery department of Wonder World, spent a fine day Sunday at the Elkhorn Golf Course near Stockton where he almost made a hole-in-one. Almost!”

• “Charles Wood of the Solano County Taxpayer’s Association is commander of the 49th Administration Company of the California National Guard. He reports that his group is now engaged in a project to send sporting equipment to the children in South Vietnam.”

• “Among some of the local business people attending the Bing Crosby Tournament at Pebble Beach are Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Ragle of Ragle’s Pharmacy.”

•“We had John Laird and company in Carmel a short time ago by mistake. Actually they had spent a day in Santa Cruz. How do we do these things? Sorry!”

• “Judy Rawls had a houseful of sick children early this week so has had to stay home from her job at the Hi-Fi Drive-In.”

• “Terry Hall, State Farm Insurance Agent, is redecorating his office.”

• “All dogs and cats take warning when in the vicinity of the Ronald McWilliams home. The McWilliams(es) are possessed of a rabbit named Hercules which will tolerate no trespassers and has been known to trounce on an unwary animal wandering onto his property.”

Before jumping ahead 10 years, I must mention a 1965 “Our New Neighbors” column that listed people who moved here, their children, where they came from and their hobbies. See if you notice a pattern and remember, these all came from the same column.

•“Bowling is a favorite sport of the Warrens.”

•“Sewing is Mrs. Fritts’ special hobby.”

• “Sewing is among Mrs. Patton’s favorite means of relaxing.”

• “The Edmonds enjoy going bowling and sewing.”

• “Bowling and sewing are among the Emmons’ favorite interests.”

• “Mrs. Rhinehart is an avid seamstress.”

• “Mrs. Fuston is a sewing enthusiast.”

1975 Talk of the Towns entries by Terry Roberts

• “The new manager of Sambo’s Restaurant is Paul Watson who recently completed the Sambo’s management training program in Hayward.”

• “Bells rang and heads turned as the double silver dollar machine at Lake Tahoe’s Harvey’s paid off $150 to Diane Johnson Saturday night making her vacation a most memorable one.”

• “Monday evening Charlie and Maxine Dingler took her daughter Cathy Wilson to Voici’s for her birthday celebration.”

• “Charlene Allred, the office manager at Morris Motors, will think twice before she starts moving furniture around again. She’s now disabled with a sore back.”

• “Since business is so brisk lately, Bill White had his daughter Janet’s ninth birthday party complete with cake, ice cream and gifts at his White’s Insurance office last week.”

• “Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hayes with Keith and Jeannie traveled to the snow country Sunday.”

• “The crew at McDonald’s are proud of their co-worker, Tom Gracyk, who has been elected associated student body president at Armijo High School.”

• “The Fairfield E & J Travel Bureau office looks very gay and colorful after its recent face-lifting.”

• “After running 7 miles teaching his 5-year-old daughter, Deeana to ride a two-wheel bike last week, Doug Baggerly, manager of AVCO Financial Services, has come to the conclusion that he’s in worse shape than he thought.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at