Thursday, August 12, 2010

Deep Thinking About the Silver Lake Walking Man

Three weeks ago, we lost an icon named Dr. Marc Abrams. He was famous in these parts for a very peculiar activity.

He walked around a lot.

Our fair city is so spread out and thus car-oriented that anyone who walked around as much as the Silver Lake Walking Man reaches near-iconic status. Abrams had been immortalized on two murals and in at least one documentary. His facebook remembrance page has about 3,500 members, and his public memorial—which included a five-mile walk—was attended by 400 people.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to pay homage to the most famous pedestrian in L.A.’s history—by making some lofty connection to the death of pedestrianism itself, for example. But his death does not mark the death of pedestrianism. I wish I could offer up some personal recollection, but I never met the guy. I wish I could say what it was like to see him walking around, but we lived in different parts of town. Finally, last Thursday night, after two weeks of wondering what to say about the Silver Lake Walking Man, I got a sign from Mother Nature.

I ran over a squirrel with my car.

It’s probably best that I don’t dwell on the Silver Lake Walking Man anymore.

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