Dozens of Community Members Gathered for the Unveiling Along Antioch Street
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The legacy of late beloved community member Arnie Wishnick has been further cemented with a commemorative renaming of a portion of Antioch Street in his honor.
Community members gathered at the corner of Via De La Paz and Antioch on Thursday, January 16, for a special unveiling celebration of Arnie Wishnick Way signs.
The signs have been in the works since Councilmember Mike Bonin filed a motion at the start of July 2019, following Wishnick’s passing in April 2019. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve the renaming of Antioch Street between Swarthmore Avenue and Via De La Paz on Wednesday, September 25.
The ceremony was emceed by longtime Palisadian Sam Lagana—who attended wearing a tie of Wishnick’s that was left to him.
Lagana began with a quote from Will Rogers: “What constitutes a life well spent, anyway? Love and admiration from your fellow men is all that any one can ask.”
“I think that sums up Arnie Wishnick in a great way because look at this corner—it’s filled with life, it’s filled with energy, it’s filled with people who would walk this way to say hi to Arnie,” Lagana shared before explaining he first got to know Wishnick when he worked in the Palisades in the banking business.
Bob Benton, president of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, then took the stage to share a few words about what having the signs placed so close to the Chamber office, where Wishnick worked for 25 years, meant to him.
“As you look at these signs on the street forever, you’re going to have memories and all I have to say: Arnie has left us but will never be forgotten, especially on his street,” Benton said.
Lagana then introduced the next speaker: Bonin, touching on the fact that Wishnick had some influence in many of the things the councilmember does for the Palisades community and beyond.
“As Sam said, I come from a small town back east and the Palisades has always reminded me of that,” Bonin shared. “It’s a place where everybody pitches in to do stuff, but there are always a few super heroes. The person that everyone looked up to, the person that inspires everybody, the person that makes things happen—and that was sure Arnie.”
Bonin thanked Wishnick’s family members for sharing him with the community throughout the years, adding that the “legacy and the imprint” that he left will not soon be forgotten.
“There’s two meanings to what we are doing today,” Bonin continued. “One is the naming of Arnie Wishnick Way. The other is an acknowledgement of what the Arnie Wishnick Way was, which was living a life of service, living a life of love, living a life of just joy and constantly giving back. Arnie Wishnick Way is not just a street name, it’s also a way of serving the community and living their life.”
Lagana concluded with echoing thanks to Wishnick’s family members.
“Jackie and Audrey, I want to say thank you for sharing Arnie with us,” Lagana said. “You allowed him to dream big and do so with conviction, determination, resourcefulness, passion, faith, hope and love.
“Arnie has retired to the great society walkway in the sky to share stories and watch what good is being done down here today. May we all try to live up to his expectation and standards.”