Ernie Lyons, long-time editor of the Stuart News, lived here in Stuart,FL from 1937 until his death in 1990.
A barefoot Tom-Sawyer-guy, he roamed the area when the rivers were pure, the woods free to wander, and before there were any bridges at all.
Today, his home is a Designated Florida Literary Landmark.
It’s where he wrote The Last Cracker Barrel, My Florida, and a rich harvest of nationally syndicated columns about growing up during Stuart’s pioneer days.
Free-spirited reporter and homespun editor of the Stuart News, Ernie Lyons was also a passionate environmentalist.
Everyday I walk across the bridge named in his honor.
It used to be a drawbridge but is now a 65-foot high stunner linking Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island.
Ernie Lyons and his bridge connect the past with the present.
As I walk, I think of him. His age-mellowed words are sure to outlive even this concrete span.
Millions come to Florida–and never see it. They are like pellets in a glamorized pinball machine, hitting the flashing lights of widely publicized artificial attractions before bounding out of the state and back home…
But the Florida we love who have lived here most of our lives has no admission fee, except the desire to appreciate beauty, the awareness to see it and the time to enjoy it…
The real Florida is a land of beauty and serenity, a place to take time to enjoy dawns and sunsets beyond the river against silhouetted pines. It is a place to hear the wind in the needles of the pines and to remember the dancing wreaths of Spanish moss on live-oaks. Florida is for quiet contemplation on a sea beach, watching pelicans skimming the breakers in singe file like long vanished pterodactyls…
Florida is for amazement, wonder, and delight, and refreshment of the soul. It may take a little more time to hunt out and enjoy the real Florida, but you will be well repaid.
Seek out Ernie Lyon’s writing. It’s digitally preserved by the Stuart News.
You’ll adore the words he strings together.
This is a wonderful world. Take time to see it. You cheat yourself unless you appreciate it.