Dr. Marc Abrams Memorial Walk Recap

Walking Kid
Little Walking Man - Photo Courtesy of Fleur Philips

I’m still on somewhat of a high from Sunday’s Memorial Walk for Dr. Marc Abrams. Near the end of the walk, I met a reporter for BBC America who said, “I’ve been searching for a sense of community ever since I moved to L.A. and this is the first time I think I’ve found it.” To me, that summed up the entire experience perfectly.

Looking out at the crowd of people gathered to walk for a man most of them didn’t know – families with kids and dogs in tow, everyone smiling and in good spirits – it restored my outlook on our neighborhood and once again made me realize how privileged I am to live in a community where people will join together for something as simple as remembering a man who walked our neighborhood almost every day for 30 years.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to:

  • Brandon Fuller for creating the Facebook event page and silverlakewalkingman.com
  • Howie via NeighborGoods.net for letting us borrow the megaphone for the event
  • Christopher Daniels for helping with coordination, creating the flyer and for communicating with Dr. Abrams’ friends and family for us
  • Kevin West for being there, despite his grief over the loss of his friend, and for sharing the note from Dr. Abrams’ wife, Cindy
  • Nick Potter for stimulating the initial idea for the walk
  • My lovely fiance’ Harold for holding the megaphone during all of the speeches
  • L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilman Tom LaBonge for their presence and support

Below are some comments from the community that I’d like to share and also a round up of some press coverage of the walk.

“Thanks Marc, you made our city a neighborhood.” – Nicky Gagliarducci, muralist who portrayed Abrams on Sunset

“Marc desperately loved Silver Lake. 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.” – Kevin West, a close friend of Dr. Abrams

“A piece of the soul of Silver Lake is gone…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 positive things that have happened, we’ve never lost our soul until 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.” – L.A. City Council President, Eric Garcetti

“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.” – Zach Behrens, LAist

“This afternoon my husband and I went to Silver Lake to walk in honor of Dr. Marc Arbrams, the man known for strolling shirtless throughout this east side neighborhood. It was, hands down, one of the best Sunday afternoons I’ve ever spent in L.A…It was quite a site to behold that many men, women, kids and dogs all walking together to honor someone…I bumped into several good friends (Adam, Patrick, Jen, and Vicki – great to see you all!) then capped the whole afternoon off with a very delicious brunch at Millie’s. I can only imagine that if Dr. Abrams were able to look down from on high and see us all, he’d be very, very proud.” – Alex Cohen – KPCC, All Things Considered Blog

“Thanks so much to those who organized and participated in this wonderful tribute and community gathering in honor of Dr. Marc. I wasn’t sure I could do the whole walk, but I made it! I know that chatting with people I met along the way was one big reason why. The sadness is lifted a bit by realizing how the good doc …is still encouraging us to all be strong walkers and kind neighbors.” – Jill Fields, via Facebook event page

“Thanks for putting this event together. It was a great turnout and wonderful to see tributes to him along the route. People even waved and clapped from their front porches in support. RIP Marc.” – Paul Shkut, via Facebook event page

“Thanks for organizing, it was a great day and memorial. Awesome to see the community get together.” – Saveida Vazquez, via Facebook event page

“What a special way to remember Dr. Marc. The memory of all of us coming together will fill the emptiness I see in that bike lane where he always was! Thank you to everyone in the neighborhood. I’ll be there anytime to do it again. The energy from the group was amazing.” – Calethia DeConto, via Facebook event page

“How wonderful to see the community come together! Let’s do that walk once a month!” – Kista Cook, via Facebook event page

“It IS great to walk! Thanks Silverlake walker for showing us the light!” – April Napier, via Facebook event page

Line of People Walking
Photo Courtesy of Harold Pichol-Thievend

Some Coverage of the Walk:

  • Saying goodbye to “Walking Man,” with a walk.— New York Times
  • Friends remember Silver Lake Walking Man with a walkabout.— L.A. Times
  • Silver Lake Walking Man memorial.— KPCC
  • Silver Lake Walks for Silver Lake Walking ManHuffington Post
  • Walk to honor Walking Man Marc Abrams underway in Silver Lake.— LAist
  • A Moving Tribute to the Walking Man of Silver Lake –The Eastsider LA
  • Hundreds Turn Out For Walking Man Memorial Stroll In Silver LakeLA Weekly
  • Photos: Hundreds Walk in Honor of Silver Lake ‘Walking Man’ Dr. Marc Abrams – LAist
  • Walk this way — WildBell.com

4 Replies to “Dr. Marc Abrams Memorial Walk Recap”

  1. I’m so sorry I missed this, but it’s great to read this wrap-up. It almost feels like I was there. Well, I was (in spirit.)

    What a great event and tribute. Way to go, Verdell.

  2. Thanks for the opportunity to share my love for The Walking Man with the people of Los Angeles. Walking with Will, we were fortunate enough to pass some of Silver Lake’s other eccentrics, “The Bird Man” and “5 Dollar Man Eddie” and reminisced about the late great “El Circo Loco.” All important Silver Lake fixtures that keeps the place interesting.

    Also, people of Silver Lake, please accept this as a my formal apology for walking around your neighborhood with my shirt off on Saturday.

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