Folsom Prison Blues

IMG_1390We planned to drive as far as we could and then stop for the night. We ended up in Folsom, CA. I did not know there was such a town. We ended up staying at the Comfort Inn on Folsom Blvd. It was too good to be true.

If there is a town called Folsom, and if there is a Blvd. called Folsom, then there must be a prison called Folsom, and I must see it.

In 1969 Johnny Cash did a live concert at Folsom Prison, which he made into an album. I have nearly memorized the entire album. To be able to go to Folsom Prison was a dream come true. I Googled it, and sure enough, we were 15 minutes from the prison.

But it gets better.IMG_1400

They had a museum, which only cost $2 per adult. I laid down my six bucks for five people and we went into the tiny (very tiny) little house that had a lot of Folsom stuff in it.

We met a guard out in the parking lot. I wanted to get his picture, but he said they did not allow it. There were several guards, at different times, putting on their guard gear, which included a “stab suit,” in the parking lot.

The museum was surreal in some ways, sentimental in other ways, and sobering in all ways.

My dad was a huge JC fan, therefore listening to that album and liking all things JC was unavoidable. I became a fan.

To see that prison, watch the video they had, and to think about what it would be like to be incarcerated, made Johnny’s visit profound and kind. That one event was all they had. The cells were tiny and dark, while embodying hopelessness.

IMG_1397The prison was built out of the granite that they dug from the ground. It was built around 1880. Many of the prisoners did some of the stone work. They are still building walls today, along with other things. They also make the California license plates at Folsom.

Folsom has become a minimal security prison, with the maximum security prison and the women’t prison on the same property. We only saw Folsom.

Ansa said it was scary. Tristen was a bit weirded out by it all. She wanted to leave, but she endured for her parent’s sake. It was sobering for them, for which I was glad. They needed another snapshot of the doctrine of sin. They got that. It was a good thing.

We left after a couple of hours.

I listened to about 25% of my Johnny Cash library as we made our way to Fresno.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).