Marc Abrams, THE WALKING MAN -- A Radio Remembrance
Marc Abrams aka THE WALKING MAN was the neighborhood eccentric for anyone who lived in the Bohemian community of Silver Lake, CA during the past two decades or so. A compulsive walker who logged around twenty miles a day, he gradually became a folk hero due to his lonely presence on the streets, and the way he seemed to move in and out as a permanent but elusive part of so many lives.
I had a brush with Marc's oddball notoriety about ten years ago when I helped produce my friend Lauren Malkasian's documentary short about him. It's a unique piece of film because, unlike most documentarians, Lauren didn't try to present a bogus and seemingly complete portrait of a complex human being, she just let the riddle of his actions and motivations stand.
The wisdom of that approach became apparent last summer when Marc died, and sordid rumors and news reports surfaced just as a remarkable outpouring of local remembrance and affection got under way.
All art -- even documentary films -- is a kind of shorthand, a sketch at best of a larger truth. And that means all art is incomplete--a suggestion. My own rumination about the very public mystery that was Dr. Marc Abrams took the form of a recent radio documentary piece for NPR-affiliate KPCC 89.3 FM in L.A.. I called it "The Visible Man." I hope you enjoy it.--RHG