It was 1963 that the then teenager Bob Barci and I found common interest in cars, boardsports, and babes. We lived that period of "American Graffiti." Bob with his '47 Ford Coupe and me with my '55 Chevy. We met at a surf club meeting. Surfing, skateboarding, even sandboarding became a focus of what started a life-long friendship. No surprise that snowboarding would become the center of Bobs lifestyle. He had a passion for details; loved photography, collected and seemed to keep every sticker, tee shirt, and souvenir of his sixty years on this planet.
Bob went off to the Navy in the late sixties, while I married early and opened a surfboard shop on the Oregon coast. It was in 1971 that we reunited and found a new direction. Sunshine Cycle was formed in the San Juan Islands as a summer business with the help of Terry Heller, then a salesman at Tiger Cycles (later to be the founder of Seattle Bike Supply). I continued to live in the Hawaiian Islands in the winter months and after four summers of the bike rental business, we decided to open a retail store; the BIKEFACTORY got it's humble beginnings in Lynnwood, Washington.
Within a year we were very involved in the BMX and skateboard business and expanded to Bellevue, eventually opening "Skatefactory" locations in Federal Way, Olympia, and Bellingham. We maintained a business partnership for twenty years. We invested and developed property on the Big Island of Hawaii. We played hard and had a couple of failed marriages. It was 1984 that we made the decision to open a BIKEFACTORY here in Hawaii and the "Bob and Wally" show, as we called it, continued until Bob made the decision to close the mainland operation in the mid nineties.
He soon joined Seattle Bike Supply and guess what? I became one of his major accounts! It was a dreadful cell call I received while on a California buying trip that Bob announced his fight with cancer. We had planned an extended visit on the next Interbike show in Las Vegas. But it was not to happen. He and Nancy had reservations to visit us here in Honolulu and they would travel the Big Island for a full moon experience. Again, it did not happen.
I was given the gift to visit Bob the last week of living. It was great to see his broad smile and he shared with me his pride and joy, the red Cobra, his 1964 handmade surfboard, the assorted collection of Vans shoe boxes, the downhill skateboard,and the vintage snowboard equipment. Aloha to you BOB BARCI, you are my mentor, my lifelong friend. Thanks Nancy for your love, care, and concern for him.
Sincerely, Wally Parcels