Left photo: Daniel Cho (lower center) was a member of the Aragon music program and swim team. He will be fondly missed.
From the first day people met him, they knew immediately that he was going to be a friend they would never forget. “He wasn’t the most eloquent person, but he always gave good advice,” says senior Devon Hanna. “He always told me to have fun in life and it was because he was a really easy person to talk to that we connected really well.”
“We went to my dad’s house and swam a lot,” says Hanna. “We were planning on doing water polo together this year so we were training and preparing together. It didn’t matter where we were. We could be over at his house eating noodles and we would still have fun together.”
Daniel passed away in a tragic accident on June 6, 2010 on a trip to Canada with the Aragon Music Program.
It is perhaps what people can learn from Daniel as a person that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
“Even if something was wrong with him, he would always make sure everybody else had fun,” says Hanna. “That’s what made Daniel so special. He did his best to make sure the people around him were enjoying themselves and having fun.”
“I met him at Borel the first day he was there,” says senior Joji Miwa. “It was because he was so outgoing that he would be willing to go anywhere just to have an adventure.”
“I remember this one time Daniel and I went to the San Mateo County Library,” says Miwa. “We were supposed to be working on math but we ended up just playing music in front of the computers for four hours.”
“We sat next to each other in band last year,” says senior Erica Bass. “That was when he played the tuba and I was playing the euphonium. He wasn’t shy and he talked to me right away.”
“He had this thing where he said ‘slappin’ the bass’ and did some funny hand motion whenever he saw me,” says Bass. “He also called my car the ‘Bassmobile’ and he would stick his head out the window whenever we were driving together.”
“He was always willing to listen to your problems and cheer you up,” says senior Natasha Issayeva. “He made it so you wouldn’t focus on the bad parts of your day but instead enjoy the good parts whenever you were with him.”
“One time I was with him and a couple of other friends in downtown San Mateo,” says Issayeva. “We were sitting in a car and Daniel spent 20 minutes freestyle rapping for us. I actually still have a recording of it.”
“I remember I was having a really bad day and I just didn’t want to go to swim practice,” says Issayeva. “I spent about half an hour just talking with Daniel in the tunnel. We were actually talking for so long that our coach didn’t allow us to swim with the team for that practice so Daniel and I just decided to swim in the little pool. He spent the whole time doing these crazy things to try and cheer me up like pretending a leaf in the pool was a ship and acting like a torpedo trying to hit it.”
“There was this one time where Daniel actually walked for five hours just to get to my house from Millbrae,” says Fung. “The thing was, he never actually mentioned how he got to my house or why he didn’t have a ride. The thing he cared about most was just being able to hang out with his friends.”
An avid musician, Daniel’s love for music is what brought him closer to many of his friends and lead to many fond memories. “One time we went to go ‘Dumbfounded’ in San Francisco,” says senior Christian DeMartini. “We also went to the Sunset District and ate some great Thai food.”
“He tried to write me a song that day when we went to Borders, Barnes & Noble and then his house,” says senior Kimberly Kwok. “It was sort of a bonding moment between the two of us.”
“He was always up for anything,” says senior Shorhon Gong. “We had all these adventures in Foster City where we just walked everywhere. He even swam in the Foster City lagoon once.”
“He worked really hard,” says Gong. “He stayed up really late just to finish his AP Biology homework because he always kept in mind what he was working towards in the end. He was so full of life that you just couldn’t help but want to be his friend.”