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.

August 1, 2006:Singapore Unbuilding

Basically I miss Charleston and PBC and Testa and Cashman and Sparky and Gary and all the guys that have contributed to my infinite curiosity. This morning there was more unbuilding going on across the street - and I was certain I saw Bob McCabe, Jim Grier, Richie Bagan, Michael Hebb and Jackie Foley. So why not start a new story. The unbuilders are not my Boston friends but a new group from Singapore. They need Mickey Rogers - as they are taking the building down one floor at a time with hammer and grapple. Where are Mickey and Ken and ABS for another imposion. My neighbors, this morning were asking the same question.

It is 7 am in Singapore and across the street our local unbuilders are waking up. Where is Steve Testa - its an hour after starting time - hmmmm

Jackie's grapple but no Jackie

and here is Michael's hammer - but no Michael

An hour later (8 am) we hear Jackie's grapple (right) with Bob McCable (visible on the left) and Jim Grier in the background. Richie is busy burning through some rebar down below.

and here is Michael (you can see that he wears white gloves) - but no Testa orange t-shirts to be seen anywhere. Click on the video above to watch Singapore unbuilding in action

Look what happens after 9 hours - the top floor is gone and they have worked their way to the next lower floor.

The worksite at 5 pm

Jackie's grapple - here in Singapore, Jackies does not wear gloves.

Michael's hammer - how wears white gloves. In Charleston, I had to look at their sun glasses to figure the difference - at least at first. Happy to see them shifting the identifiers from sun glasses to gloves.

and the team - complete with the Richie aiming the water and Jim holding the hose

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C. Frank Starmer