As a 25-year Palisadian resident, I was proud to be pictured on the front page of the Post in the June 4 edition, happily shopping at our new hardware store, Anawalt. But I’m even more proud to have been protesting on the Village Green this week solo as well as with other locals, including dedicated college students Rose Rogers, Ileana Scissors, Noah Bleakley and Josie Bleakley.
Kudos to 20-year-old Lily Kaplan who organized the larger “Be The Change” march on Sunday morning with hundreds of Palisadians!
We are fortunate to live in this community. I’m glad to see so many of us standing up for injustice and for those who do not have the same privileges as we do.
‘A Quiet Hero Among Us’
Johnny Miller of Pacific Palisades was more than the neighbor
Not only was he a staple within the Village for the past 25 years as a trusted master handyman, he was also a friend who always wanted to help fellow Palisadians. He had our trust and our loyalty.
Johnny was always there at 9 a.m. sharp. Black coffee in hand and ready to help you feel more at ease. He came with a tool bag and a “to do” list written on a 4×6 notepad in his pocket. Johnny came to us in stormy February rain and when the sun was about to set on a clear day. There for us.
Johnny Miller passed away on May 22 at the age of 78. His friends were his family and I am proud to be one of those friends in his inner circle. Proud not as a testament to the various projects Johnny executed with such precision, but proud of what Johnny stood for in a world gone “complicated” as Johnny used to say.
Johnny was a simple guy with a big heart who worked six days a week, every week. Johnny always had a waiting list of people in town who knew that when their turn came around, the work would be completed with quality at the forefront and with intense resolve to make it right.
For those of us who knew Johnny, he would often share his opinion about what was right and what was wrong with our homes while also explaining in exasperation: “If the home builder would have thought about how the windows were sealed, we would not have this problem.” He had this perspective because he knew that doing something right did matter.
But where did Johnny get such high standards?
We can look to his background as a hydraulic airplane mechanic here for the answer. These would not be for airplanes at the Santa Monica airport awaiting a busy executive to board. These would be for airplanes in Vietnam where he was deployed as a Marine in the early 1960s. These would also be for airplanes on a U.S. Carrier in the waters outside Cuba when U.S./Cuba relations were at their height of tension.
Johnny was so highly regarded around town that many of us hoped he would one day be named the Grand Marshal of the Palisades Independence Day parade. He deserved this honor but his low-profile persona was more comfortably suited as an attendee at the parade as both a loyal American and loyal Palisadian.
Johnny embraced the America that we all once shared. A simpler life where you could play in the neighborhood as a child and not have parents on pins and needles, buy a product of high quality, and provide service to people with integrity and competence. Hard work and always playing it straight. Get the job done and go home and have dinner.
This was the Johnny we knew who became our personal friend and a friend of the community we all shared together.
A good man. Johnny Miller.
We, the Interfaith Clergy Council of the Pacific Palisades, unitedly oppose racism in all its forms—whether they be individual or institutional. The very idea that any person would be subjected to such disgraceful attitudes or actions is contradictory to everything we stand for and everything we preach.
In this critical time of anger and unrest, we raise our collective voices in condemnation of racism, prejudice, discrimination, violence and hate, and call on those in positions of legal authority to root out all such practices wherever they exist.
While each of our faiths represents a unique theological perspective, all our voices speak as one when it comes to racial injustice. Ending racial inequality is essential not just to our many faiths, but more importantly for our collective humanity.
We believe that racism is fundamentally evil. But it cannot be overcome by more evil. Rather, it requires each of us to reflect on our own value system and consider what our conscience calls us individually to do in order to eliminate any aspect of racism within our own heart, family or sphere of influence.
As individuals, we have re-committed to recognizing our own shortcomings; and as leaders within our religious institutions, we are obligated to love equally and unconditionally all people regardless of race, ethnicity or any other worldly classification.
As members of the Interfaith Clergy Council, we mourn today and always with those who have cause to mourn and will continue to offer protection for the marginalized, a voice for the silent and a haven for the estranged. We are equally determined to be a positive force for constructive dialogue to thoughtfully address this issue within our own community.
To that end, we invite you to join with us in a virtual gathering on Sunday, June 28, at 4 p.m. to learn how we can combine our efforts to end racial injustice in our community and ensure the equal treatment of all people. The path to healing begins with open and honest dialogue within the context of mutual respect, love and caring.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pacific Palisades Ward; Bishop Chris Eastland; Corpus Christi Church, Palisades, Monsignor Liam Kidney; Kehillat Israel Synagogue, Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Rabbi Micah Hyman, Rabbi Steven Carr Rueben; Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, The Reverend Dr. Grace Park; Palisades Methodist, The Reverend Doctor Wayne Walters; Parish of Saint Matthew, The Reverend Bruce Freeman, The Reverence Christine Purcell, The Reverend Stefanie Wilson; Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, Brother Satyananda, Brother Ritananda
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