Faces of Fremont: Tale of two families captures city's evolution

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- For the past month, ABC7 News has been embedded in the city of Fremont. This week, we're bringing you stories about their solutions to problems we all face.


Behind those solutions are the people of Fremont. They're the faces of a diverse and inclusive community.

Fremont is a rapidly evolving city. And nothing quite captures that like talking to the families that live there -- new and old.

An Old Fremont Family

The largest piece of public art in Fremont harkens to a time long gone. It's based on a 1907 photo of the train that used to run through nearby Niles Canyon in a still-rustic time before the suburbs sprouted.

Some families here still have links to that era.

"Has Fremont changed?" we asked Cathy Mozzetti.

"Yeah. It really has. Too fast. Too busy."

"It takes you half an hour to get across town now," added her husband, Arnold. They're home-grown and married 69 years.

Arnold and Cathy Mozzetti wedding photo

Arnold and Cathy Mozzetti wedding photo

"They said we wouldn't last," said Cathy.

The Mozzettis still live in the house they built in 1958, with a mortgage of $65 a month, in a what once was a walnut grove on the formerly one-lane, dirt-covered Walnut Avenue.

How times have changed. "I think the best times was the 50's and 60's," said Arnold. That's when they raised their kids, Cyndie and Arnie.

Now, those kids have taken over and continued the trucking company their family built from scratch with sweat and toil in 1946.

Arnold Mozzetti

Arnold Mozzetti

KGO-TV/Wayne Freedman

Cathy Mozzetti

Cathy Mozzetti

KGO-TV/Wayne Freedman

This generation has served as a new set of treads on experienced wheels. "When I die, I will still be working a half-day shift the day of my funeral," Cyndie likes to say.

"Does Fremont fit with San Francisco?" we asked Arnie. "No. San Francisco is too fast."

"My saying is that Fremont is big city but a small town."

And it's a changing town. Sample the local restaurants and your taste buds will tell you all about that.

"There are so many different kinds of foods here," said Amrina Rodino, an Indonesian. "You're not going to starve?" we kidded. "No."

A New Fremont Family

Fifty-seven percent of Fremont is Asian, which includes its large Afghani population.

People like Jamshid Ahmed, who owns Fremont Afghhan Kabob on Mowery Avenue. He has been here 14 years after moving from Kabul.

Jamshid Ahmed owns Fremont Afghan Kabob on Mowery Avenue.

Jamshid Ahmed owns Fremont Afghan Kabob on Mowery Avenue.

KGO-TV/Wayne Freedman

"In United States, I am happy for freedom. I have a good life."

This is a man who fell in love, married, and immigrated. His wife, Tana, had been here much longer. "We're very fortunate to have a sense of security here. In Afghanistan, you don't have that," she told us.

Now they have 11-year-old Miriam, and 3-year-old Michelle. Two weeks ago, they added Ibraham and Ishmael.

Just like the people depicted in those statues, new arrivals keep coming to Fremont. The only constant? Change.

"Change is good," said 90-year-old Arnold. "Hard to get used to it, but it's better."

"Are you living the American dream?" we asked Tana.

"We are. Definitely."

And they're doing it in Fremont.

Ahmed family

Ahmed family

KGO-TV/Wayne Freedman

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