Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The New Old Bridge of Lions, with humble thanks

We live in an amazing town, filled with artifacts so integrated into our lives that we can sometimes not imagine not having them in place. Some years ago, there was a battle about this beautiful landmark, the Bridge of Lions, connecting downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island, where Rodney grew up and where many treasured friends live today. This is a picture of our beloved bridge I borrowed from google.com, and if you were driving toward the distance, you would coming into downtown St. Augustine. I hope you'll forgive me for letting my friend Pablo over at Pablo Notes do some of the heavy lifting for me tonight, because he has beautifully captured the first lighting of the new lights on the saved, preserved, rescued bridge, the beneficiary of a dogged fight to save it that took many years and the passionate activism of many people.

It wasn't, perhaps, the bloody battle of some of those of previous centuries in our town, but it was a hard-fought one, nonetheless. You can see its history at the Save Our Bridge site, but the bottom line is this: there was a drive to widen the bridge, making it four modern lanes, but losing the beauty and architectural elegance of this edifice, one that served to connect us with the generations of our parents and stood as a reminder of those generations before them. It was touch and go, as they say: that four lane replacement bridge nearly won the day.

It's the work of hundreds, or maybe thousands of people, but there it is. Saved, for everyone to enjoy. As it seems to be the work of this blog to talk about connections, this was too important to miss. Thank you, Lis and Kristie. Thank you, Teresa Danahy Segal. Thank you, Pablo. Thank you, sort of crazy people at Folio Weekly, who covered the topic and did your best to help preserve this treasure. Thank you, people of St. Augustine, who, in the end, DID save this treasure.


  1. Hallo dear Angie! Thank you for bringing the Bridge of Lions into the limelight. It truly has become a beautiful shining star in the center of the nation's oldest city and I feel will bring a new vitality to an already thriving art community. I wanted to let you know that, in fact, it was Theresa Danahy Segal along with Nancy Hovater and Regine de Toledo who led the Save Our Bridge Committee to the fruitful end it now enjoys. There were many others who made invaluable contributions but you'll have to find all that out from Theresa. I can't wait for the opening ceremony, what an amazing day that will be and truly a dream becoming reality. Thanks again for this lovely summary of what has gone on before. Love, Lis xo

  2. Dear Lis, as my Booksmith connection to Nancy and Regine should have kept their heroics in the front of my mind, I have to thank you for reminding me. (I do hope someone will share this post - and Pablo Notes - with Regine, as her voice would be so welcome.) It's funny to note here that although Theresa's father is my favorite baritone of all time and was more than once a source of musical support and encouragement to me, I've never actually known Theresa herself except through this effort. St. Augustine is a magical place in its ability to connect people, though, and thanks again for adding your voice to this particular unique cause, joining many disparate hands together in worthy work!

  3. Angie, you definitely need to connect with Theresa at some point!

  4. Kristie, I would love to connect with Theresa on this topic! I've been hoping someone would share it with her so she could comment. I'd be happy to amend the post itself to include her perspective. There is a letter to the editor in this week's Folio from Theresa on the topic but of course I saw it today (several days after my blog mention and Pablo's). If you send her the link, I would be thrilled to hear from her. Thank you, too, for all the work you did on this rescue!!

  5. Hi All, Theresa Segal here. How very nice to read these comments. I love St. Augustine too! Couldn't imagine the downtown vista without the Bridge of Lions.
    Lis was actually part of the original group along with Regine and Nancy that formed in '98. She typed my first letter to FDOT! I didn't have a computer yet. Shows how long ago it was.
    The fight to save the bridge is now part of its history. How exciting to be on the last chapter of this long saga.

  6. Theresa, thank you so much for adding your comments here. I don't know if you've been reading pablonotes.blogspot.com, but Pablo has a beautiful record of this last chapter. I think all of us who are now awake to the treasure that was here for us all along, and are grateful to you, and Lis and Nancy and Regine and all the other people whose strength of commitment made the save for all of us!


Please share your thoughts. If you have trouble getting past the gatekeeper, email and let me know.