The Story Behind the Mural

We like to call it “The American Dream”. It depicts the journey of my husband, who is a Brazilian immigrant, from his homeland in Brazil to Folsom, California. My husband came to the United States to compete in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament in June 2009. While at the tournament in southern California, one of his teammates mentioned that a gym in Folsom was looking for a Brazilian Black belt to teach some classes. He thought about Folsom, then mentally said, “Folsom, Folsom prison, Johnny Cash, I like Johnny Cash.” That was how he ended up in Folsom, California. With $200 in his pocket and not knowing how to speak English, he found himself teaching at a MMA gym on Natoma street where he meet me, his future wife. The mural celebrates the hard work and dedication it took to achieve the American dream, which for him would not have come true had Johnny Cash never went to Folsom Prison. He is now a married man, a father, a homeowner, a business owner, owns a commercial building, and is a United States citizen. If ever a person was living the American dream, it is him.