The columns in this book focus on the colorful and fascinating history of Vallejo, a shipyard town just north of San Francisco. The writing began following the publishing of author Brendan Riley’s book about Vallejo’s infamous sailor district, Lower Georgia Street: California’s Forgotten Barbary Coast. In the course of writing the book, he amassed a small mountain of notes, files, photos, and other materials that dealt with many other aspects of Solano County history.
Writing a history column seemed like a good way to make use of that material. Vanishing Vallejo features a broad recounting of stories of people and events that circulated for years. Some of the stories are about matters of great significance while others fall under the heading of unusual and off-beat.
Some columns might make you smile—others won’t. It all comes under the heading of area history that ought to be remembered rather than forgotten. There is no need for a bookmark—just open this book randomly to find tales of tragedy, treachery, and crime, along with stories of heroism, bravery, and achievement.
The author hopes that putting these columns into book form will help to preserve some of Vallejo’s very colorful history and perhaps encourage future storytellers to do more research and unearth additional details that will advance and improve upon what’s written in this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Brendan Riley grew up in the Navy town of Vallejo, California, earned a degree in English literature from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, and then spent two years as a sailor aboard a Navy ammunition ship during the Vietnam War. He had a 39-year career as a political and government affairs writer for The Associated Press. After retiring from the AP, he returned to his hometown and got involved in community affairs, editorial consulting and research into Vallejo's colorful history.