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.

January 31, 2006:
Backing down the Grace ramp at 4am

Yesterday Kami wrote me and said that her husband, Rich, was back working on the Grace. Rich, Steve and Ted (Tad) all work for the Concrete Cutting and Breaking, Inc. So Off I went in search of Rich and experimenting with night photos

The worksite at 4 am, quiet, peaceful, but windy and cold

Here is Rich making a lateral cut

and then cutting into the shoulder

In context - Jackie's grapple with Rich cutting across the roadway

Then Jack bites into a section of roadway

and picks it up

rotates a bit

and rotates a bit more

then returns and picks up the other half of the roadway


and places it on to of the other segment

Richie moves in with his cub

and simply blurs himself down the ramp where Scotty is waiting to take the 2 sections to the Coleman Recycle Center

Jackie and the concrete cutter (sort of like Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

Jackie and Richie

with Rich

The team - Jackie, Rich, Scotty and Richie

At about 5:30 Pio and Michael come in - and the next shift takes over (after a bit of coffee)

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C. Frank Starmer