Photos: Hundreds Walk in Honor of Silver Lake 'Walking Man' Dr. Marc Abrams
If there's one thing that can be said about Silver Lake is that it's truly a community. One where neighbors band together, through good times and bad times, to make it home. When Dr. Marc Abrams, known as Silver Lake's "Walking Man," died last week (Update: now confirmed as a suicide), it struck the neighborhood in a big way. Big enough that four days after his death, around 500 people gathered to walk five miles of his lengthy daily route.
"Marc desperately loved Silver Lake," a close friend of Marc's said to the crowd before walking commenced on Sunday. "Somewhere along the way in him doing what he was doing without trying, he just created this regularity and this routine that the people who lived here could count on, and it was a part of their lives and part of their day just to see him walking down the street. And that's something a lot of us don't have.... it became a part of just living here and that's gone."
"A piece of the soul of Silver Lake is gone," added L.A. City Councilmember Eric Garcetti. "We're a quirky, weird, funky place where people do take their shirts off and walk around and you don't know whether they have a job or not, and we still love them. For all the changes in Silver Lake has gone through and the postiive things that have happened, we've never lost our soul unitl now -- there's a piece of it that's just missing. I know it's a complicated story and I know so many people here who loved Marc and who were served by him and he really was the community... We will find a fitting tribute."
The memorial walk was organized by blogger Verdell Wilson, who never met him, but saw him every on the way to work. She announced the event on blogging.la and, separately, someone made a Facebook event page, which soon began attracting hundreds of RSVPs. "I can't believe how many people have been touched by this," Wilson told KPCC.
Sunday couldn't have been a more perfect day for the hundreds who gathered for the walk. Some even honored him with green shorts, a newspaper in hand and going shirtless, just as Abrams would every day. Reports of a criminal investigation and that his death was possibly a suicide did not sour the mood one bit.
Nicky Gagliarducci, the muralist who portrayed Abrams on Sunset Boulevard, summed it up best. "Thanks Marc, you made our city a neighborhood."