The Monument Guardian: Protecting the Memory of Selena - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

The Monument Guardian: Protecting the Memory of Selena

Posted: Updated:
CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Selena is a legend here in Corpus Christi and around the world, but there is one man that lives here who is still standing at her side.

It's hard to believe all that this incredibly devoted fan does everyday, but he really is the guardian of her memory.

Every other night, ordinary nights on the Corpus Christi Bay, with the sun setting and the tourists walking down Shoreline, Army Veteran Mario Gomez gets started.
 
"Every other day," Gomez said. "I try to come out here as much as I can."

As soon as the sun starts setting, Gomez goes to the Selena statue.

"Every now and then their are people who come out here and disrespect the statue, and I run them off," Gomez said. "Drunks, pan handlers, transients; I have to ask them to leave."
 
Gomez has done this for years. He started back when the statue was first erected. After noticing that it needed some upkeep, he took matters into his own hands.

"I contacted the City Parks and Recreation," Gomez said. "I was getting a lot of run around about cleaning this up. I took it upon myself, and I cleaned it up myself."

He not only keeps the area clean and paints it when necessary, but he is also somewhat of an unofficial tour guide for Selena, snapping pictures for fans, giving out directions to her museum and grave.

"They are always coming out here asking directions," Gomez said. "If I wasn't here, I feel bad for them."

Gomez said people from all over the world are always stopping by to learn a little more about the queen of Tejano music.

"People come from Russia, Italy, England; you name it, they've been here," Gomez said. "It's nice to meet people from all over."

On some nights, Gomez sits back in his truck, plays her music, and watches how fans remember Selena.

"I have seen it all," he said. "I have seen grownups out here crying, paying their respect. It's nice to talk to them."

Gomez even shares some of his own memories with the tourists that visit; but why so much interest in Selena?

Gomez was actually Selena's neighbor.

"They lived down the street," Gomez said. "I always respect her privacy, and I would go to a lot of the concerts. I would run into her everywhere. She was the sweetest person you ever meet."

He even took part in the Selena movie, as one of the guards in the concert scene.

"I was the security at the El Paso concert," Gomez said.

Ultimately, he just wants to keep her memory alive in everyone that comes by.

"This is my way of showing respect to her family and her fans," Gomez said. "I just do it out of the kindness of my heart, without any expectations."

Gomez said he will continue going to the statue and maintaining her memory for as long as he can.

"She was so down to earth," Gomez said. "She would take time to talk to her fans, sign autographs, takes pictures. Unfortunately, I never got to take a picture with her."

  • Family Searches for Missing Man

    Family Searches for Missing Man

    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
  • Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
  • "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>
    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>