Imagine living in a time where the girls almost never wore anything but skirts and only about 15 students were in a high school classroom at a time. That’s how Walter Wright grew up in the humble town of Fairfield.
Walter attended Armijo High School and graduated in a class that only had about 57 students. He had grown up in a small house on Missouri Street. At that time, he estimated, only about 1200 people lived in Fairfield. The main road that took travelers though town was known as Highway 40, which is now Texas Street.
When Walter went out, he had the luxury of choosing to ride in one of his family’s three cars. Despite the fact that they had a lot of cars, which meant easy access to transportation, his family rarely went as far away as Sacramento or San Francisco. The couple times they were lucky enough to go into the big cities, they would goto a park to play baseball, tennis, or basketball.
Most of the shopping that Walter remembers his family doing during those years took place in downtown Fairfield. Downtown was a nice place to be at the time; all of the people were friendly and a person could get everything he or she needed locally without having to go all over town. In fact, going to downtown was almost a habit, just something people did regularly, like a lot of kids today who go to the mall just to hang out.
Walter remembers how easy things were downtown and how different they were from today. For instance, when he was growing up, the price of a child’s ticket at the movies was only 10¢, and adults only had to pay 35¢. For that price, the audience members would get to see the talent of great performers like Clark Gable.
Those were the days! Walter isn’t too thrilled with the changes to today’s society. He said that he wished moral values, such as friendship with townsfolk and manners, still played an important role in how the youth grow up.