Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on October 23rd 2018
Ernie LaMere: Who converted a garbage dump into a lush walking trail

Ernie's Walk
Ernie's Walk
Photo: flickr.com

At one of Los Angeles’s busiest freeway junctures, the Ventura and San Diego Freeways, lies the Los Angeles River.

Along that river near Ernie’s home in Sherman Oaks, was an illegal garbage dump. In 1988, at age-77, Ernie refused to tolerate that dump any longer and sprang into action.

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He convinced city officials, if they would cleanup that dump, he would landscape and maintain the property.

It took a crew of about 12-people using two garbage trucks, two days to clear out a mountain of garbage, and then true to his word, Ernie went to work.

He created “Ernie’s Walk,” starting with marigolds and geraniums. Soon his neighbors chipped in other flowers.

Ernie was obviously a pet lover. Thanks Ernie!
Ernie was obviously a pet lover. Thanks Ernie!
Photo: canineangeleno.wordpress.com

As the months passed, Ernie landscaped nearly ¼ mile. But he was just getting started.

He added benches and with the benches, magazines and fresh fruit, to make people welcome.

As more people arrived, Ernie added a blackboard and chalk so they could express themselves.

Why did Ernie do this? “It’s become an obsession for me,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1993.

“I wanted to prove to the world that one man could make a difference to the environment.”

But in 1995, at age-84, Ernie passed away. Among his survivors was Fern, his wife of 60-years.

Today, the city and the county of Los Angeles maintain the property, although without his colorful flowers. But it remains a lovely tree graced walking trail.

Editor's Note: To learn more http://articles.latimes.com/1995-06-27/local/me-17587_1_memorial-service I first learned of Ernie’s Walk from a 1993 PBS episode of “California’s Gold,” hosted by Huell Howser.

In the next KazanToday: A 100-year-old hairstylist


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