Celebration of Life for Diane Gershuny


8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 30
Art Theatre
2025 E. 4th Street, Long Beach, CA

As most of you know, 4th Street Retro Row lost one of its dearest friends and most enthusiastic supporters in December 2013 when Diane Gershuny succumbed to esophageal cancer at age 53.

So come, take part in celebrating Diane’s life. We’ll pay tribute, tell Diane stories—and they are legion—and share our joy in having had her in our lives, if for much too short a time.

First off, yes, Lucy will be there. Diane made sure that Mo and Vicki would be taking care of our little mascot for years to come. Roots rocker guitarist and friend Brophy Dale will head an impressive list of musicians whose lyrical tributes will reflect some of Diane’s greatest passions—rock ‘n roll, indie rock and the blues. There will be a photographic presentation of Diane’s life on display and true to “Diane form,” a commemorative T-shirt.

According to Stephanie Minasian and Charlene Ferry, friends of Diane’s who supported her through the final stages of her illness with esophageal cancer, said that Diane had given up all but palliative treatment in the last few months of her life and had time to share with her friends her last wishes. According to Stephanie, “She wanted any service to be held at the Art. She wanted music, and, of course, she wanted Lucy to be there.” Charlene added, “And everyone is so grateful that the Art Theatre owners, who were also friends of Diane’s, were able to make this happen. She even arranged to have a bench installed in her name on 4th Street. That’s so like her—planning right to the end.” Diane was our relentless publicist, our planner of all things needing planning, and our style guru.

An award winning publicist and journalist, Diane spent over 20 years in the music business, writing for such legendary companies as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. She settled in Long Beach in 2008, making it her home and becoming an advocate for its unconventional culture. According to Kerstin Kansteiner, owner of the Long Beach institution Portfolio Coffeehouse and now the Berlin Bistro, acknowledges that Diane dubbed 4th Street—a corridor of independently owned vintage shops, restaurants, wine bars and purveyors of hip and eclectic wares—as “Retro Row,” and developed its reach nationally as a must-visit destination. She and her beloved Chihuahua, Lucy, were fixtures on 4th Street, devoting considerable energy to managing many successful events, including the semi-annual “Retro Ramble and Sidewalk Sales,” the hugely popular “Bike Fest” and “Zombie Walk” before her marketing efforts had it outgrow the street and move to downtown Long Beach. Logan Crow, Zombie Walk and Long Beach Cinematheque founder, attributes much of the success of his ventures in the city to her tireless pro bono support. Diane received recognition awards from Vice Major Robert Garcia (2013) and Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal (2011) for her community and leadership efforts in Long Beach and had been profiled in OC Weekly’s “Best Of” issue.

It’s important, especially this year: Get a flu shot!

Sad news: Yesterday, the first confirmed influenza death in Long Beach for the 2013-2014 flu season was reported. The deceased was a 41-year-old man with an underlying medical conditions who died after a brief hospitalization. The Long Beach Health Department Public Health Laboratory confirmed the individual as having the Influenza A pandemic H1N1 strain.

The Health Department continues to encourage flu vaccinations for all people six months of age and older. “There is still time to receive a flu vaccine, which includes coverage for the pandemic H1N1 strain, which is currently the predominant strain of influenza circulating in our region this season,” said Mitchell Kushner, MD, Long Beach’s City Health Officer.

As in the 2009-10 influenza season, this strain of flu seems to affect a younger population that may not feel the need to receive their annual flu shot. The Health Department is still offering flu vaccinations at its location at 2525 Grand Avenue in Long Beach. Schedule an appointment by calling the Health Department at (562) 570-4315.

An annual flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your family against the flu. It is also important to practice basic hygiene by remembering the three “Cs” of disease prevention in an effort to help prevent the spread of germs:

Most individuals who get sick are able to treat themselves at home with over-the-counter medications, drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and staying home from work or school. However, people (especially those who are pregnant or have underlying health conditions) who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, should call their healthcare provider. Symptoms may include:

  • A fever higher than 100℉
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

People experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay home from work or school and limit contact with others.

For more information, visit The Long Beach Health Department web site or call (562) 570-4000.