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.
Earlier this morning, I visited Bob McCabe work on the Mt Pleasant side and took a few photos of the foundation work for the Mt Pleasant observation pier. Surprise - in these photos was the little Testa tug that could - preparing to move a barge.
and walking up the Grace I took another photo of the Testa boat and barge. And look who was standing in the middle: Ken (left), Bret (middle) and Phillip (right) - on their way to load D-27. I am always surprised when I take a photo like this only to discover at the fact what it really represented.
For me the day stated a bit later. Sharon picked me up at the Sea Breeze about 1:30 - time to get setup for the 3pm event. Here is the before on our way out to the worksite. D-27 is to the right of the middle Ravenel pier and just to the right of the Grace cantilever anchor
Our worksite - with Ken and Bret loading the last of the column
A closer view - with Ken using the rod to tamp the material into place
Here is Bret loading
Here is the fuse array
Here is the before
followed by fuse ignition sequence - extracted from the video frames at 33 msec intervals
Detonation at the base
and the cap
lots of smoke and fury
and down the pieces fall
with the wind blowing the smoke to the north
Most of the smoke has cleared and sure enough - no more D-27
Here is the after
and our smiling team: Bret, Ken and Phillip (Mickey is still recovering from his appendix episode
another view of the after
Looking over Sharon's shoulder
and another after - only D-23 and D-28 remain
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer