A more divisive character during Griffith’s short history is difficult to find.
The city remains divided on the life and achievements of Tony Sergi, but all will agree the man played a huge role in defining what Griffith has become.
The well-known figure will be laid to rest on Friday, November 3, after passing away last weekend, on his 82nd birthday.
It’s significant news for the city Mr Sergi called home.
Mostly thanks to the lasting effect he had on Griffith and its residents, but also because of the inquisitive fascination people have with him.
But his legacy he leaves is convoluted.
Its rare to find a Griffith resident who knew the man willing to offer compliments, condemnation or anything in between.
But despite the few people willing to publicly offer what are often significantly differing opinions on the man, they actually agree on a couple of points.
Mr Sergi’s prominent name and influence on Griffith runs in contrast with how he operated.
The only aspect of the Tony Sergi guise accentuated beyond his name and community impact is his determination to stay out of the spotlight.
Perhaps most accepted between friends and foes, is there’s plenty about Mr Sergi Griffith residents as whole aren’t familiar with.
It adds to the conjecture from doubters, and the determination of supporters.
Mr Sergi’s death has however triggered opinion within national media circles, choosing now to pull the trigger on stories some believe too risky to run previously, without facing defamation lawsuits.
Questions need to be asked whether these stories add to or detract from their editorial claims and campaigns.
Especially if their facts seemingly aren’t enough to justify publishing before Mr Sergi’s death.
Love it or hate it, the coverage continues to add to the enigma that remains Tony Sergi.
A large residential turnover in Griffith over the past decades leaves many new residents in the dark about Mr Sergi.
But despite the changing face of the city, he’ll likely be a man mentioned in Griffith circles for years to come.
And the stories on his influence both questioned and accepted are destined to remain part of Griffith folklore forever.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.