Ernest “Ernie” Moretti sat down to be interviewed armed with a plethora of pictures and stories. He was filled with tales of times gone by and pictures to illustrate these tales.
Ernie has lived in Fairfield for many years, and over that time his family has grown. His father owned a grocery store in Suisun where he grew up. Mr. Morretti became a police officer at that time he moved to Fairfield. He was one of 12 Fairfield police officers in the early ‘50s. Then Dan O. Root talked him into becoming a teacher. It paid more at the time.
Fairfield Elementary School is where Ernie started his education, before moving on to Crystal Elementary, which is now Crystal Middle School. He said that going to school was a good experience and while he attended Crystal he learned many new things that he remembers to this day. Growing up, he played many sports, but when he was really young, one of his favorite games was jacks. He would sit there on the ground with his overalls, or a pair of jeans with suspenders, proving his prowess in the activity. He and his best friend, Willie Morsetto would often have fun together and their friendship has survived the test of time. Later, both boys got involved in more organized sports.
A good student who was well behaved, Ernie could not remember having any real problems in school. That doesn’t mean that his memory suffered. He was able to remember his favorite teacher at Crystal, Ms. Kinloch. Most students at that time took their lunches to school, and Ernie was generally no exception. His mom would make him bring his lunch, but if he forgot it, he would go downtown and get something from there. The people knew him and were never truly surprised to see him picking up something to eat. “It was like having an alternate mom,” he said.
It is not surprising that Ernie remembers so much about his schooling. Twenty years ago he served as Superintendent to the Fairfield/Suisun Unified School District. Before that, he taught Remedial Math and English and is a past president of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). He is still serving on the Gomer School Historical Association.
Ernie is the last remaining Morretti in Fairfield.