Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ernie Is Safe, So Are Years of Memories

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ernie Is Safe, So Are Years of Memories

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

ST. SIMONS ISLAND | Ernie is back at home on Sesame Street.

He once was lost but now is found, was plastic and still is.

Monday night was July Fourth, when Glynn County pays highly skilled professionals to set off fireworks at the pier on the island. As usual, our family goes except for one curmudgeonly member who has always enjoyed it through the first three or so blasts then wishes he were home watching PBS' airing of the fireworks in Washington, D.C., called "A Capital Fourth.'' This year it rained up there so part of the telecast was a rerun of 2015.

Besides, I already see enough of my tax money go up in smoke with a lot of noise.

So anyway, I'm sitting comfortably under a ceiling fan and Vonette walks in and tells me that our 1-year-old grandson Benjamin fell asleep on the drive home and to keep our dog Gracie quiet because Benjamin is spending the night. Then she puts her hand in a pocket and looks a little stricken.

"You lose your phone?" I asked.

"No,'' she says.

"Your keys?"

Nope. She had lost a little 2-inch tall Ernie figure that goes with his pals Bert, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. They're "Sesame Street" characters sharing a hinged brownstone townhouse that's fully furnished.

When Vonette, our daughter Jessica and our son-in-law Daniel Malone left for the lighthouse, Benjamin had Ernie clutched in a hand. Vonette got control of Ernie before the fireworks started and stuck him in her pocket, but he must have fallen out on the grass, she said.

"They'll be cleaning up in the morning,'' Jessica warned.

That's why I was on the lighthouse lawn from 11:30 p.m. until about midnight shining a flashlight into the grass. I found cigarette butts, a Bic lighter, bottle caps, a floss stick, a leg off some plastic glasses, a snake shed, drinking straws, a beer bottle and a folding chair. …

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