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RIP, Silver Lake Walking Man

For the first three years we lived in Los Angeles, our home was on a hill in Los Feliz. Since we both worked from home, we often would go out to lunch or run errands during weekdays to avoid weekend congestion. (I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be hanging out in my pajamas on Saturday morning than navigating the loathsome parking situation at the Atwater Costco or Silver Lake Trader Joe's.)

One of the constants during our drives, walks, hikes, and jogs around the neighborhood was seeing "the walking man," a 50-something, skinny, tan walker (nearly always topless and wearing pink or light blue shorts) who seemed to be covering the neighborhood for hours everyday.

We learned over time that he was a local doctor credited with walking 10-30 miles per day, depending who you ask. Someone mentioned that he was crazy, but he sure seemed lucid while having Bluetooth conversations and reading a paper during his brisk pace. Someone else mentioned that he was a guy sickened by America's obesity problem and developed OCD, but I read an article that quoted him as saying he was a junk food junkie and walked to keep the weight off. (It worked.) Somewhere along the line, I found out he was Dr. Marc Abrams, a family-practice physician, husband, father, and Silver Lake resident for more than 20 years.

Time passed, and we moved to Thousand Oaks for a couple of years, then to our current home in Sherman Oaks. But whenever we went back to the old neighborhood--for Bo Bia at Gingergrass or chicken-and-mushroom crepes at Dusty's--we'd get a little kick out of seeing "the walking man" still at it, a reminder that Silver Lake remained Silver Lake despite the new crop of shops and building facades changing its look. Over the years, we have talked about this man who probably didn't even know we existed and have joked about the possibility of starting a walking group to shadow him--half as a gag, half as good exercise.

This week, Abrams was found dead in his Jacuzzi. There's a memorial walk planned for Sunday, during which attendees will retrace the steps most commonly trod by "the walking man." Maybe we'll get that half-gag, half-exercise experience after all.