In Memory

Victor Lucero

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06/18/14 09:34 AM #1    

Joel Park II

Victor was a neighbor, a teammate and a friend. We were all stunned at the news of his passing. Victor was the kid who always had the next big idea. He was a dreamer. Those high school years were filled with many memorable times with Victor, many I continue to tell my kids and colleagues when reminiscing about childhood events and friendships. I include a few such stories here.


When I moved to San Antonio at the start of the 8th grade, it was Victor that provided the connection that started my run with San Antonio soccer. We played on the same team all through our high school years and early college, culminating in the iconic Gurus Soccer Team, which Victor took an integral part in organizing. Beyond the league, come rain or shine every Sunday we played pick up soccer with any and all comers. Eventually, Sundays came to be called “Guru Sunday.” Victor was a core player on the team and our wild card Goalie. Most memorable was the game where we decided to play with 10 forwards and a goalie, Victor. The opposing team failed to score a single goal during this half. Our 10 forwards would stop at midfield and leave the opposing offense to just deal with Victor. Between offsides calls and wild, panicked shots on goal, while the loan goalie would charge the players beyond his protective box, the opposing team, though winning the game with scores from the first half, left the game disturbed and upset that they just went 45 minutes scoreless against just a goalie.


Victor was also something of a car guy, more of a driver than a mechanic. Victor & I took driver's ed together. He was eager to get his license, I was not. But, taking the class with your friends was the thing to do. He soon managed to buy a car, the Cobra II. He loved the freedom the car gave him. But my most memorable event with his car was when he asked my dad to help him fix it. To understand this image you have to know Victor and my father. Victor, like I said, was a dreamer, and always on the move. If a piece of tape could solve the immediate problem he would do it and keep moving forward. The way I describe my father is, when engineers and physicists all get together, they call my dad a geek. My father is borderline OCD when it comes to building and repairing stuff, “the right tool for the right job” kind of guy. Victor was desperate to get his wheels moving again and agreed to abide by my father's rules of how this repair was going to go. Victor parked his car in our driveway that weekend and got started. Each piece was removed and laid out on newspaper, as new parts and adjustments were integrated into the engine. Prior to each piece being put back into the engine, it had to be cleaned with solvents using an old toothbrush. The rest of us sat and watched, chuckling, knowing that this meticulousness was killing Victor. But Victor knew, this was his best option to get his wheels up and running for next to no cost. Victor's pain proved successful. The car started beautifully and Victor was on the road again.


Though much of our friendship revolved around soccer, we also tromped around the woods collecting snakes and tarantulas. Like most adolescents of the time we played practical jokes with crank calls, shortened all the straps on his sister's bras, and protected the younger kids from the neighborhood bully. We played old role playing games, old Apple IIe computer games, and made a few animated and live action movies. Victor was a big part of those years of my life, and continues to live on through my kids and friends through many stories like the ones above. Though missed, he is always with me.

06/21/14 11:46 AM #2    

Rena Sardo (Buley)

Joel, your tribute to Victor was beautiful.  You are a talented storyteller, recreating the adventures of two best friends for the rest of us to enjoy.  Thank you.  Rena (Sardo) Buley

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