There are many things I love about Fresno. I enjoy the fact that I can drive 3 hours to the coast, and an hour or so to the mountains. Fresno produces some of the best fruit and veggies. We are home to artists, authors, famous people. But really, the thing I love most about Fresno is the history-my history. Having grown up here, I have fond memories. I remember living in the Tower District at one point, and always going to Angelo’s Diner. (Did you know the building has been torn down recently?) They really did have the best burgers. I also remember on hot summer days I would walk around the neighborhood with a friend. We would pick flowers from people’s yards, put them together in a nice bouquet, then sell them back to those same people for a dollar. Ha! As an adult, this totally makes me laugh!
Whenever I think about things in Fresno that once were (like area code 209 or the grocery store Foodland), I get nostalgic. So, when I happened upon a Fresno sign this past summer, I was in awe! It reminded me of so many things from my past. It gave me a sense of pride.
This mural is on the corner of Tuolumne and Van Ness, at the start of the Fulton Mall, next to CVS Pharmacy. It was painted by Fresno’s own FranCisco Vargas. He had other artists helping him along the way as well, which you can see more about on Facebook. FranCisco started this mural December 10th, 2013. I remember seeing it in various stages of completion, which was exciting to watch. As each letter was finished, it was fascinating to see what images resonated with FranCisco, and how they are an important part of Fresno’s history.
As we take a closer look at each letter, what stands out to you? What kind of memories do you have of some of these places?
Looking over all of these beautiful works of art, brings back so many memories for me. My friends and I took a Senior Trip up to the Sequoias. I went to the horse races with my step dad once. I have the best memories of Storyland, and it’s a place where I still love to take my children. This mural is more than just a mural. It’s more than just a name of our town. This mural is who we are as Fresnans. It represents where we’ve come from. It shows pride in our city. Honestly, I just love it.