Larry Monroe was a staple of the Austin, Texas airwaves for over 30 years, and when he passed away, his friends and family refused to let the music or his memory die, and the Larry Monroe Forever Bridge was born.
Monroe began broadcasting at the tender age of 14, and over decades of hosting a succession of radio shows on the Austin airwaves. He became a common fixture for listeners looking to discover new music through his eclectic and wide-ranging tastes. Monroe was a particular proponent of local musicians and the Texas music scene, bringing a number of bands to the fore.
In 2014, Monroe passed away from respiratory complications at 71. After his death, Monroe’s partner, photographer Ave Bonar, sought out local mosaic artist Stefanie Distefano to create a lasting memorial to the lifelong radio man. Choosing a small bridge on East Side Drive, they got in touch with Monroe’s family and friends to have them create custom tiles with which to decorate the bridge. Little clay images of cassette tapes, pies, guitars, radios and more were hand-sculpted and fired for the project, each little piece a tribute to Monroe’s life, loves, and career.
The larger portion of the bridge mosaic displays an image of Monroe’s face as well as the notes to one of his favorite songs, “To Live Is to Fly” by Townes Van Zandt. The memorial bridge is a touching reminder of the importance of the ever-dwindling field of radio DJs and the amount of culture and understanding they can bring to a community.
Know Before You Go
It's on the 1500 block of East Side Drive at Sunset Lane, just north of Monroe St.