It’s been only slightly more than a year since the death of San Francisco Firefighter Lt. Vincent Perez. As you may remember, Perez was the SFFD veteran who was raised on Wool Street in Bernal Heights; he died a hero on June 2, 2011 while battling a residential blaze in Diamond Heights.
But here’s a spooky wrinkle to the story: Recently, someone on Flickr pointed out to me that Perez featured prominently in a picture I’d taken in 2008 with Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter, when she was just a year old:
That’s Vincent Perez on the right. The photo was taken on Cortland Street, just a few months after the Cub Reporter had learned to walk. I’ve always loved this pic because Perez looks like a Central Casting vision of a firefighter. Plus, the Cub Reporter clearly had a thing for guys in uniform.
Well, as you can see at the very top of this post, someone from Local 798 found my photo as well, and they used it in a poster for the memorial fund created in his honor. Which is an honor unto itself. It was just a passing moment for the Cub Reporter and me as we walked down Cortland that day in 2008, but I’m glad it stands as a fitting way to remember one of Bernal’s Finest.
UPDATE, 20 June, 2012: We just received this note from Victoria Terheyden, Director of Communications at Archbishop Riordan High School:
Your Tuesday tribute to Lt. Vincent Perez on Bernalwood put a smile on my face. I was charged with putting together a poster for the event with some photos given to me by Local 798 and Vincent’s friends and families. We couldn’t get over the one of him and Cub Reporter–so cute! I know that will be a lovely keepsake for her and for your family.
The event on Saturday was a great day to honor a great man, and we are pleased to partner with Local 798 to establish the Vincent Perez Scholarship Fund at Archbishop Riordan High School. Donations in his honor can be made by visiting http://www.riordanhs.org, or by contacting Local 798, 415-621-7103.