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.

February 27, 2006:Dancing to Pio's music

Pio and his quintet make very interesting music. Sparky averaged his weather exposure and found the team dancing to Pio's music in the sun.

When last seen, Pio's quintet was pulling the Pearman main span off the Cape May. Since then, there is little left on the Cape May. Here she is - almost ready to receive Grace's main span

Here are the dancers: Roy

and Jackie

and Chris and Jackie

and Steve.

Pio is not happy with Steve's dancing and here he is marching over to examine and perhaps correct Steve's dance step

Shears for dancing

but first, dancing shears and grapples must have sharp teeth. Here, repairing the knife edges

Dancing requires a series of moves that are repeated over and over again. Here is the biting step.

and the lifting step (Chris is the dance instructor here)

The rotate step

A shear dancing with a grapple

Another lifting step

Steve with his Dale Earnhardt high speed grapple. No slow dancing here as he loads the truck

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer