Tag Archives: tony george

The Old Stiller Bros. Fish House, Dad, and Mariner Cay

-My dad’s photo -bus for Stuart High School, Senior Trip to Havana, Cuba, 1954Why the “Stiller”name rings a such a loud bell for me is because my late, dear, father, Tom Thurlow Jr.  always loved to tell the story about his 1954 Stuart High School Senior Trip to Havana, Cuba. As you can see above, the bus was all written up in shoe polish!

I remember saying to my dad, “I get “Stuart Tigers” and “Havana or Bust”, but why does it say FISH FOR SALE, STILLER BROS. FISH HOUSE?” Dad would begin chuckling  and reply: “That was my classmate Freddy Stiller…” 

-Indian River State College President, Dr. Timothy Moore, JTL, Sandra Thurlow, Vice Chair District Board of Trustees IRSC, Tony George, May 24, 2022. Receiving a “Resolution of Appreciation” for my late father, Thomas H. Thurlow Jr. for his many years of service to the institution. -Mom holds dad’s Resolution of Appreciation. Thank you IRSC!Recently, after receiving a a beautiful plaque from Indian River State College in honor of my father for his service to the institution, my mother, historian Sandra Thurlow, and I visited  Mariner Cay where my dad’s friends Freddy Stiller’s family once fished.

During our visit, my mother pointed out that commercial fishing operations flourished along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon after the opening of the St Lucie Inlet in 1892. In the 1940s, the fishing was still wonderful. It was this year that Hubert Stiller, Freddy’s forefather, purchased 75 acres of land from the Jacksonville Partnership Corporation -for the principal sum of $11500.

In 1963, the Stillers sold the family property, except for three lots to Whiticar, Garlington and Dragseth who later also sold the property. This land, platted in 1973, other than the three lots, became Mariner Cay off of St Lucie Boulvard near San Sprit Park.

-Mariner Cay Marina in 2022

When my mom got home she sent me some historic aerials that I will share today. It is fascinating to see what the land once looked like at a time when men could pull thousands  of fish from our waters.


-Early photo of a Stiller Fish House ca. 1945, courtesy Thurlow Archives.-Thurlow Archives/all aerials marked 1964 of the Stiller lands that in 1964 sold to Whiticar, Garlington, and Dragseth. The St Lucie Inlet and Seminole Shores, (today’s Sailfish Point) can be seen in the distance over an undeveloped Rocky Point. -Mouth of Manatee Pocket also 1964, Stuart, FL

-My mother took this photo below of a remaining Stiller structure still located on one of “the three lots” not sold by the family in 1963. It remained/s separate. My friend and realtor, Julia Sansavere who lives in Mariner Cay informed me these “Stiller” properties have just sold. Nonetheless, they will remain a piece of history of my dad’s friend Freddy Stiller who once wrote on the Senior Trip bus to Havana in 1954: “Fish For Sale, Stiller Bros. Fish House…” 

-A remaining Stiller structure, on the once Stiller lands, within Mariner Cay, May 24, 2022, photo Sandra Thurlow.-Today’s Mariner Cay red balloon, Google Earth, 2022.


CRC in the Classroom ~Educating Future Voters

My second period 8th grade English class at Stuart Middle School, 1999.

Part #3 in a series about the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) and how to get involved, by CRC Commissioner, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 8-30-17.

CRC in the Classroom ~Educating Future Voters (http://flcrc.gov)

The teachable moment….

Sometimes it only comes around every twenty years!

As a former educator, I believe the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is a great opportunity to get young people directly involved in the sometimes far-away process of government. Knowing that someone “who can directly affect their lives” is listening on the other side is a tremendous motivator for students.

For instance, when I taught eighth-grade persuasive and expository writing, I had my students address their essays to Mr. Tony George who served on our local school board. After a classroom discussion about what a school board was, and what these board members do, the students wrote in their very best handwriting applying similes, metaphors, quotes, and first-hand experiences in an effort to persuade Mr. George to consider allowing gum-chewing, letting up on the dress code, providing more activities and after school sports … basically, any subject of their choice.

I was amazed at the increased motivation of the young people once they knew they were really writing to “somebody” and not “just writing.”  The highlight of the experience was when Mr. George in red pen commented on each of the papers, and later, personally, returned them to our classroom having written his own persuasive essay in response. I read it aloud and the students noted his use of technique in the persuasive arena.  It was fun! Without even realizing it, students learned about local government, politics, and most important, became motivated to express themselves in writing.

The Constitution Revision Commission of 2017/18  provides an even greater opportunity to give students an impromptu real-world civics lesson about the role of state constitutions and the difference between state and federal government. To get started, you can follow these steps for your lesson plan:


  1. Introduce the CRC at gov noting that the Florida Constitution is up for review.


  1. Introduce students to the chair and commissioners, the people they will be writing:        gov/Commissioners.


  1. Review the Florida Constitution’s twelve articles and selected sections:  gov/Constitution.


  1. Remind students that if they are thirteen years old today, in twenty years they will be thirty-three! Put students in groups to brainstorm and discuss what they think will be most important to the state over the next twenty years, and have them figure out what article and section of the constitution their proposal or ideas fits best.


  1. Show students how they can create their own proposals, applying their best English class skills, by using tools on the CRC website to redact or add language: gov/Proposals/Submit.


  1. The deadline being considered for public proposals is September 22, so please submit ideas soon! Student proposals can be submitted on-line gov/Proposals/Submit, emailed to the commission at admin@flcrc.gov, or sent in the mail to: Constitution Revision Commission, The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399. If there is not a particular commissioner your class wishes to write, you are welcome to address them to me.


I hope you’ll get your classroom involved. Real-world learning is so effective and fun. Of course, the main motivator is that getting involved with the CRC is a rare, teachable moment, that only comes around once every twenty years!

Me with my first period Pensacola High School 1993, English Class. (Photo courtesy of photography teacher at PHS.)