By Tony Wade
The nomadic military life that Jim and Mayrene Bates lived since they wed in 1955 eventually led them to plant roots in Fairfield in 1970. Their initial experiences with trying to purchase a home were discouraging. One Realtor automatically pointed them to predominately African-American neighborhood The Crest in Vallejo, but they wanted to live in Fairfield where they would both work.
Driving around town they saw a Realtor putting a “for sale” sign on a house on Begonia Street. While he did sell them the house, he told them that had they come five years earlier he could not have as it was in a white area.