What to say? For Sparky and myself - these past 2 2/3 years reflect
one of those must have adventures. Looking over
the shoulders of our
new friends, we often thought we were part
of the team unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Bridges.
Ken Canty from Jay Cashman opened the back door
for us while Steve Testa and Ponch kept us out of trouble.
This got us started.
Then Mickey Rogers sent me email wanting to know why I gave little
attention to the subcontractors. It was a well deserved slap on my
wrist which I rectified the next day. With Mickey and his team,
Sparky and I were the junior learners while Mickey and Ken were the senior
learners and from them we mastered Implosion 101.
Joshua Hebb goes to the head of the class because at the tender age of
10, discovered that I had misidentified his dad. Michael's wife, Tina, enabled
Joshua to write email to me and correct my photo essay. From then on - Tina,
Joshua, Michael (Joshua's dad) and Jack Foley became more than friends. Then
Michael and Jack helped us master Cat 101.
Then there is Richie. From Richie Bagen, we mastered
Burning 101 - and how to thank Richie? Richie
brought to Ellen and myself priceless care and attention. From Lewis, Nugget,
Carlos, Stan and all the other Ironworkers, we gained a new appreciation
of acrobatic positions.
Then there is Chris Vocci and Manny - these men who seem to save each day
with a smile and soft spoken kind word for everyone around them.
Then March 23, 2005 I moved to Singapore as part of the startup
faculty for the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical
School. The day before I left, Mickey phoned to see if could
build a photo essay around the largest implosion to date
the T-3 foundation. How could I
who shared his photos with me and were frequent
additions to this website, suddenly was carrying the ball alone. What
a friend - rain or shine or sleet or snow - only Katrina rebuilding
took him away from our project. A huge thanks!!
There are many many
others and I apologize for my old man's failing memory - but thanks to you all.
Here is the last chapter - more or less - the last blast of the Grace
foundation. The worksite with the Grace pier foundation gracefully wrapped
in steel mesh and rubber blankets.
Sparky's photo site
Mickey (left), Ken (right) and a young Rogers (middle) -
before the last blast
Part of our DOT and Cashman team - Ken Canty in the background left and part
of the DOT team
Shelly who will do the honors and push the button
And Mickey setting up the transmitter which includes the button. And
check out his Nikon D-70 and super lens. This I need for my Singapore
insect photo essays
A remote part of the team
Then Shelly did her thing - and here are the results. Detonation at each end.
Then the central region is detonated
Then all sound and fury - signifying something serious
Up up and away - the last of the Grace piers
Then slowly drifting north
and Ken explained this orange smoke, but I've forgotten the mechanism
So - a learning exercise for me and with the answer, I'll post a learning
and its over
After - no pier foundation
A Graceless worksite
and Neal starts the cleanup
digging for gold
and depositing his gold
Shelly and Jim in the dump truck
Randy in the bulldozer
Ken (left) and Mickey (right) after while Neal continues his gold digging
Here Jim is backing up to get his share of the gold
and what a share
Sparky heads home - over the bridge that Wade directed, Peo managed the mainspan
coordination and Oliver and his Freyssinet team installed the stay cables.
To tell the truth, I'm a bit sad. Life in Singapore
is interesting, building a new medical school is a challenge, but I really
miss our bridge friends and learning from them.