Tom Hannigan

By Megan

Tom Hannigan

Tom Hannigan is of Irish decent. He was born in Vallejo in 1940 and moved to Fairfield when he was in the second grade. His parents were co-owners of a popular soda fountain that was located on Texas Street. Tom said that living in Fairfield at the time was pretty idealistic, everyone knew everyone.

When he was growing up, it seemed that the youth of Fairfield had the run of the place. One of Tom’s favorite childhood memories was playing baseball; there weren’t a lot of people so it took some effort to get a team together that they could play against. They would often play against a team in Suisun. The games were fun and nobody worried about their kids being out on their own and getting in trouble. There was no need to.

When the game was over and the sun had sunk into the west, Tom and his friends would often walk over to his parents’ shop to get a free ice cream soda before heading home.

When Tom was about 11 years old there was a tragedy at the Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base. Pilot General Travis’ plane went down, exploding the nuclear bomb's high-explosive trigger and killing 19 people onboard. Tom remembered that the magnitude of the crash caused some of the windows of stores near by to blow out. It was from this event that Travis Air Force Base earned its name. Since then nothing like this catastrophe has happened in Fairfield.

Unlike many of the people in Tom’s generation who went to Armijo High School, Tom went to St. Vincent’s Co-ed High School. Like them, though, Tom was one of many teenagers who had a job. He remembered that it would have been very peculiar if he didn’t work. Most teens believed that the ideal job to have at the time was cutting fruit. It was a way to hang out with friends and get paid for doing it.

In 1972-1974, Tom was mayor of Fairfield. Some of his accomplishments included helping fight for a bigger library and bringing the Anheiser Bush factory to Fairfield. Even though he’s not working for the city officially any more, he still enjoys watching out for our little town.