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Stride Right at a Shopping Mall Near You

November 24, 2002|NELSON HANDEL

Since there have been indoor malls, there have been mall-walkers. The Westside Walkers, a volunteer organization sponsored by UCLA Healthcare 50 Plus, OASIS L.A and the Westside Pavilion, meet two mornings a week to stretch their legs on the cool, clean and level marble at the Westside Pavilion. Tinny pop music echoes hollowly as these intrepid perambulators pass the still-closed stores. But for these mall crawlers, the only conspicuous consumption is excess calories.

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Fred and Sadie Hifumi, Culver City, retired architect and retired administrative assistant

Stephanie Kinoshita, granddaughter, 3 1/2

Distance logged:

Four miles.

Why walk in a mall?

Sadie: For health.

Fred: For exercise.

Stephanie: I have lots of friends here.

Your walking tips?

Sadie: Get here early to avoid traffic.

Fred: Bring your granddaughter. Pushing the stroller is more exercise.

How do you resist the smell of baking cinnamon buns?

Sadie: We're walking to keep our weight down.

What's your favorite thing about being here?

Stephanie: Talking to people. But I don't like it when they pinch my cheek.

If you could walk anywhere, where would it be?

Sadie: Anywhere with green trees and rivers.

Fred: Washington, D.C. Great structures.

Stephanie: To the neighbors'.

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Ed Friedman, Los Angeles, retired steel salesman

Distance logged:

Three and a half miles.

Why walk in a mall?

It's like a party. I'd rather walk and talk than listen to a radio.

Your walking tips?

Watch for the slow ones. Suddenly they are right in front of you and you have to swerve or . . . boom!

How do you resist the smell of baking cinnamon buns?

I enjoy it. I don't have to resist it.

If you could walk anywhere, where would it be?

During WWII, I visited Arrochar in Scotland. Friendliest people in the world. You know, I've never thought about that until you asked.

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Kathleen Stovall, West Los Angeles, retired restaurant owner

Distance logged:

Twenty miles Tuesdays and Thursdays; three to five miles the other days.

Why walk in a mall?

I was walking in Mar Vista Park and some guys urinated in front of me. No one urinates in the mall.

Your walking tips?

Make sure you warm up or you'll pull something.

How do you resist the smell of baking cinnamon buns?

Used to drive me crazy, but you get to the point where you say, "It's just my imagination."

Do you window shop?

If someone offered me $25 to name the stores here, I couldn't.

If you could walk anywhere, where would it be?

Monaco. It's beautiful and hilly.

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Linda Sherman, Los Angeles, retired homemaker

Billie Norris, Mar Vista, retired telephone operator

Distance logged:

Two and a half miles.

Your walking tips?

Linda: Start off slow, then go on a pace, then cool down.

Billie: Wear good shoes!

How do you resist the smell of baking cinnamon buns?

Linda: I don't like 'em.

Billie: I'm really a coffee-holic

Do you window shop?

Linda: I store shop! I go in!

If you could walk anywhere, where would it be?

Linda: New Jersey. To see my family.

Billie: Nashville. I love country music.

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