Unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Bridges

For Sparky and myself, curiosity drives passion which in turn fuels our life's engine. Our passion was capturing the story of both unbuilding the Grace (1929 - 2007) and Pearman (1966 - 2007) Bridges and discovering the unbuilders. It takes a lot of passion to track a project from July 2005 until April 2007 - rain, shine, hurricanes or moving to Singapore. We discovered the joy of discovery learning. Ken Canty opened the front door for us - then Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley and Mickey Rogers opened many side doors. Below are the highlights of what we discovered, who we met and what we learned.

And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

April 22, 2006:
Hello Rachel Marie

There is a little building going on in our family (and in Ken Canty's family). Rachel Marie was born April 17 in Nashville, with proud parents, Jack and Lisa pleased kids (Danielle, Abigale and Jake) and a super pleased Grandma Ellen. Now you know why I have been struggling with life in Singapore while all the action was at Vanderbilt.

and Rachel, sleeping quietly and Here is Lisa and Rachel Marie

While Jake seems a bit distracted, clearly Danielle and Abi enjoy their new sister. Jake is now clearly out numbered. In our own family, 3 boys and Rachel, Rachel never felt out numbered. Of all our kids, Rachel can change brake pads and change spark plugs and set the timing. Plus, when our Rachel and Josh are together, the local cuisine is the best in town!

and the best moment of all - a pleased Grandma Ellen - who has been tending the family while Lisa was doing her thing. Now she is on her way back to Charleston to see if our bridges are still there and preparing to join me in Singapore. So to say I'm pleased is an understatement. Being a temporary working dad, with laundry, ironing, shopping, outfitting our apartment, setting up bank accounts, paying bills, updating the unbuilding web pages with Sparky's photos and during my copious free time, working (as faculty member #3) at the new Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School - keeps me off the streets at night.

For a glimpse at out Singapore home, I had to make a web page for each apartment I looked at. Ellen would review and say yes, no, or maybe. We converged on this place and its wonderful - quite a different life than Charleston - but I am 5 min from the MRT (subway) - 4 stops from Singapore General Hospital and a 10 min walk from IKEA where Ellen would like to hang out. Here is our place during the negotiation phase

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C. Frank Starmer