By Christiane Victoria Buschor Salts
Longtime Culver City resident, Mrs. Victoria Buschor, is celebrating her 100th birthday on February 19th of this year. Her daughters Uta Buschor and Christiane Victoria Buschor Salts are proud to share some of their reflections about her incredible life.
Victoria is known to family members as “Oma.” She’s unmatchable in her enthusiasm, strong as a rock in her determination, and loyal in her allegiances to friends and family members. She is a survivor, a champion of the 20th century. Born just after World War I in Munich, Germany, she coped nobly with the challenges and consequences of that war and the next one, World War II.
Buschor and her husband and life-mate Frank Xavier Buschor bravely relocated their family to America in 1954 and lived in New York for seven years before making the cross-country trek to settle in Culver City in 1961.
Together they started a new life in a new country on a new continent.
Frank and Victoria worked very hard, and sometimes Victoria was the only breadwinner. Frank was active with the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club for many years, and was a lapidary and woodcarving hobbyist, besides being a professional artisan cabinetmaker. Frank won first place awards for his beautiful wooden bowls and other wood creations at the Art Affair Show in Pacific Palisades.
Victoria worked at Culver Federal Savings when it was on Washington Blvd. and also when it moved to the corner of Overland and Washington, for nearly 20 years. Many Culver City residents knew her as the friendly teller who could help them with their banking questions.
The words which best describe Victoria Buschor are “enthusiasm” and “exuberance.” Enthusiasm stems from two Greek words, ‘en’ meaning “in” and ‘theos’ meaning “God.” It is a noun meaning “intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.” One way Victoria displayed her fervent enthusiasm for life was when Frank was driving on a road trip, and she would pipe up with lively energy and excitement, exclaiming “Let’s see what’s around the next bend!” Frank drove many extra miles in order to satisfy Victoria’s curiosity.
Even in her last years, as she is living at Palm Court Retirement Community, she insists on walking at least two times a day. The pace is much slower than before, but that doesn’t matter to her. She never wants to be homebound and is always enlivened and energized when around people and nature.
Her watercolor paintings display a reverence for God’s creations ~ paintings of birds, butterflies, flowers, small and large animals, landscapes, and pastoral scenes. She admires the colorful work of American artists such as Georgia O’Keefe of New Mexico, DeGrazia of Arizona, and the folk art of Grandma Moses. She and Frank were talented woodcarvers and hosted a woodcarving group that met at their house for many years before Frank’s passing in 1996, and even afterward.
Never one to easily shed a tear, Victoria has held strong through the loss of her husband and other family members, both young and old, and as she battled breast cancer. She has been recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International.
Victoria is a 20th Century German immigrant whose family struggled, persevered, assimilated and prospered while pursuing the American dream. The millions of Germans who have immigrated to America have enriched our country, as Victoria and her family have done. She has always been grateful that they decided to settle in America.
After the aftermath of 9/11, Victoria wrote a short essay called “Why I Love America.” She stated:
It can happen only in America what we experienced recently, that a nation pulled together in a crisis after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
My family emigrated from Germany in 1954 to the U.S.A. After living through the horrible war years and the bad times after the war, we wanted to live in a free country. We were not disappointed, even though America faced the Korean and the Vietnam War. Also, Desert Storm was necessary to put Saddam Hussein in his place. Now we don’t know what the future will bring.
We appreciate mainly the opportunities everybody has in this country to make something of themselves, to get an education, and to live a free life. With hard work and goodwill, we will persevere.
This has been and will always be the greatest Nation on Earth! God bless America!
— Victoria Buschor
Now at the end of her ninth decade of life, Victoria still remains active, walking daily around the environs of her Palm Court retirement home, at times heading to the Culver City Senior Center; visiting with her sister Christine Lingg (also a Culver City resident); going on errands and day trips with her eldest daughter Uta, and enjoying visitors. She watches travel shows on TV as an armchair traveler and tunes into Dr. Phil each weekday mid-afternoon. She can make friends with anyone, young and old alike; she’s not shy about talking with strangers in waiting rooms or when she stands in line somewhere. She sets an admirable example for all of us! We have come to realize the depth of her character and her indomitable spirit.