Off the wall

Photo by Will Dendis

The Peruvian-born painter of three-dimensional murals, Victor Zorloza, has lived in Saugerties for two decades. He relocated from Lima, Peru, where he owned a large home and had a successful advertising agency, after his Connecticut-born wife, Lucy, was detained for three hours under frightening conditions by the rebel group “Shining Path.”

The former Lucy Jane Garrison had gone to Lima in the mid-seventies with a Baptist missionary group. When she met Victor, she spoke no Spanish and he spoke no English, but somehow love prevailed, and they married against her family’s wishes after a year of courtship. They had a son and lived a “very comfortable life” in Lima for 15 years.

Although Lucy had given her abductors a fake address, after the incident, U.S. embassy officials advised her to leave Peru with son Giovanni, then 14. After a short stay in New Jersey, Lucy reached out to her Saugertesian cousins, who took them in. Victor stayed behind for a while, as his agency had over 300 clients and 12 employees. But Peru’s escalating inflation and terrorism eventually convinced Victor to leave his homeland – and everyone and everything in it – and start over here.


Since then, Victor’s held a variety of jobs but his specialty is painting colorful murals. He recently decorated a children’s room with a Spider-Man mural; his fees begin at about $800. For more information, go to

Giovanni, now 32, lives in Kingston and works for Simulaids Inc. Lucy and Victor dote on their toddler grandson, DeAngelo Victor Zorloza. Lucy’s an avid crafter – she loves to crochet and cross-stitch. She now attends St. Mary of the Snow Church and she’s a Columbiate – that’s the distaff side of the Knights of Columbus. At home she makes classic Peruvian dishes like ceviche. On date night, Victor takes “his pretty wife to Red Lobster – that’s her favorite – and then the cinema.” Lucy says she always orders when they eat out because “Victor is very picky.”

What makes Saugerties unique?

It’s tranquility, and also, because I live in Saugerties!

What’s your favorite virtue?

I always give my fullest to the job.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I would have liked to be a veterinarian.

What is your favorite color, flower and animal?

My favorite color is light blue; my favorite flower is all flowers; my favorite animal is the dog. I don’t have one right now. In Lima, I had two German Shepherds, they were very smart. To me a dog is like an angel.

What do you like most about this community?

Its calm environment and friendly people.

Who is the most interesting person you have met in Saugerties?

To me everybody is the same.

What’s your idea of the perfect Saturday?

Relaxing under a palm tree, by the ocean, on a very sunny day.

Which qualities do you most admire in others?

Honesty and sincerity.

Do you have any heroes?

No. For me, there are no heroes but brave and valiant people.

What’s your idea of happiness?

It’s something that very few people have which are love, money and health.

What’s your idea of misery?

It’s what most people have, that is, love, money or health.

What talent do you most wish you had been given?


What’s your main fault?

Extreme detail in whatever I do.

For which fault do you have the most tolerance?

Too much attention to detail.

What is your favorite motto?

“If you can’t do it right, don’t do it.”

What characters in history do you most dislike?

Adolf Hitler and the Road Runner, who never lets Wile E. Coyote eat him.

What is your present state of mind?

Variable, depends on the day. My car broke down. Cars are a pain in the neck.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear Saint Peter say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“You are in the wrong place. I don’t see you in my list.”