As he walked briskly around Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights, Tony Marquez used his cane to bat away empty soda and beer bottles.
Then, he reached the RVs parked next to the brick red, rubberized path.
Marquez, 70, edged close to the cemetery wall as he stepped off the path and maneuvered around the obstacles. A lifelong Boyle Heights resident, he has been walking the 1.4-mile loop every day since 2008, when he was diagnosed with arthritis in his right knee and needed a low-impact workout. “You feel like you’re walking into someone else’s backyard instead of a public walkway,” said Marquez, a retired distributor of Sears catalogs and Verizon yellow pages, who is a member of the Boyle Heights Historical Society. “This used to be a great place for seniors to exercise, for friends to catch up, and now everything is cluttered and there’s so much trash. It’s sad.”
Longtime Boyle Heights resident Tony Marquez takes his daily walk around the 1.4-mile jogging path. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)