When I heard the news last night that "Silverlake Walker," Mark Abrams passed away at age 58, I was overwhelmed with sadness and disbelief. He was a constant in an ever changing neighborhood and for me, somehow, seeing him walking everyday, shirtless and tanned in his green shorts helped me and made me feel a sense of comfort. I remember seeing him for the first time in the summer of 1998 when the band I was in at the time came out to L.A. from Louisville, KY. We rented a recording studio in Silverlake and spent a couple of months in the neighborhood. I saw Mark walking everyday and like everyone else in the neighborhood, I became slightly obsessed with him and wanted to know his story. It wasn't until 2002 that information about bits and pieces of his strange yet ordered life became public. He gave an interview to a neighborhood paper and I remember reading that the reporter had to join him on his 15 mile daily route in order to get the interview. The man was dedicated. I found out that he was a Doctor who spoke several languages, read 5 or more papers a day, always ate dinner at midnight and logged some 200 miles per week at an average of 5 mph on foot. He was such a permanent fixture in our area, always there, walking in those green shorts, slightly hunched over reading a paper, neatly folded in half. Sometimes he read aloud and it sounded like mumbling and it made me smile and I thought he was crazy, but in a good way. I will miss Mark Abrams. I think I'll go for a walk.
If you have any memories you'd like to share, please comment.
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