Porch Beauty

Her mural celebrates home and life

By Corky Mau
September 2021

Porch life is back in style, especially at the Pocket-Greenhaven home of Linda Myers Russell. She capped off her recent home projects with a colorful mural adorning her front porch.

Russell, an English professor at Sacramento City College, gives high praise to local artist Mary Sand. “I saw a wonderful outdoor mural that Mary did for Jan Haag, former journalism professor at City College. I wanted one, too,” Russell says.

The mural pays homage to Russell’s life: the Marysville orchards where she grew up, her favorite rose plants and—look closely—a heart encompassing her initials and those of her late husband. The bright red door was inspired by a trip to Sri Lanka. What a welcoming outdoor living space.

Sand is an innovative multimedia artist. She’s also a musical artist, playing several instruments, including the guitar and hand drums. Sand has performed and hosted Open Mic Night at the oldest bar in Sacramento, Old Ironsides.

“I majored in graphic arts, but have expanded into other mediums, like creating artistic floral décor for weddings to painting whimsical wall murals,” she says. Check out the mural she painted for Gunther’s Ice Cream. Sand adds, “I want my art to appeal to a broad base of people and neighborhoods. I hope this mural makes people smile as they walk up to Linda’s porch.”

As I walked up the pathway to meet Sand and Russell, I had a smile on my face. View Sand’s portfolio at marysand.myportfolio.com. If you’d like a mural for your residence or business, contact Sand at marrycontrarydesign@gmail.com.


One of the oldest events in Pocket is the Festa do Espirito Santo (Feast of the Holy Spirit) at Portuguese Hall, adjacent to St. Maria Church on Pocket Road. The feast is a two-day religious festival honoring Portugal’s 14th century queen Isabella.

Festivities kick off Saturday, Sept. 18, with a 5 p.m. barbeque. For $35, you get a huge spit of marinated beef or pork to grill. Each spit feeds three to four people. Bring your own side dishes and beverages. Children from the Luso Youth Council No. 4 will perform traditional Portuguese dances at 6:30 p.m. Dancing to the tunes of “Generations” starts at 9 p.m.

On late morning Sunday, Sept. 19, a parade will travel through streets surrounding the hall and church. After the parade, the traditional festa dish sopa is served, followed by an auction of homemade Portuguese items.

The first Pocket festa was held in 1914, and the tradition continues. For more information, contact Judy Dias Allen at (916) 947-6695 or dias49@sbcglobal.net.


St. Anthony Parish on Florin Road welcomes everyone to its 27th annual Community and Cultural Food Festival. The free event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 11, from noon to 8 p.m.

Booths will showcase foods representing the cultural diversity in our community, from hot dogs to paella. Loads of family games and entertainment are scheduled, including music and an old school car show. Walgreens will offer free flu shots from 1–4 p.m. or until doses run out. For more information, call the church at (916) 428-5678.


The Friends of the Library Bookstore at Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library has reopened. Browse the inventory from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

There are reasonable prices on used books of all genres, plus CDs and DVDs—none more than $2. The proceeds help special library programs.

Unfortunately, the bookstore is unable to accept donations. Instead, take books to a Little Free Library in your neighborhood.


Congratulations to the Crushers, Pocket Girls Softball 10 and under all-star team. They took home the gold in the recent NorCal Girls Softball Tournament.

The girls attend different Pocket and Land Park elementary schools and went 4-0 during the two-day tournament. The team placed well in three regional tournaments, earning a berth in the USA Softball Western Nationals. Congrats to Coach Christie Jokinen and the girls!

Corky Mau can be reached at corky.sue50@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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