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.

December 7, 2005:
East Bay and Boston Friends

Taken a look at East Bay lately? We have the Pearman and Grace memories - and our Boston friends working to make this a memorable part of the Charleston scene. What we have is the beginning of a nice park area. The city has already put up a sign showing where to park if you are a jogger. We have the Pearman and Grace monuments. Next we need a water fountain, a couple of park benches and this part of the Charleston will have new life.

Here is East Bay looking north - all the ingredients for a nice park

Micheal is busy hammering away with his oversized Tonka toy - reducing the Pearman support between the north and south lanes to dust

A closer look at his hammer and our friendly water man

Look at this - bones and skeletons - and a potential park for folks, joggers and bicycle folks that Charleston is beginning to think seriously about

I walked around the back of Michael's 1250 - and there was Ryan - hammering away at a foundation

From behind Ryan, the Pearman and Grace ramp skeletons looking west

Looking south - Ponch on the left transplanting a few plants

and probably talking with Kathy, his boss

and Ryan taking a break

Another look at the East Bay skeletons looking east

I looped around to Meeting St and found jaws

and the ramp skeletons looking east

Meanwhile, Jack was busy hammering away at the foundation of one of the Pearman supports -

and Jack again. It was August when I first confused Jack and Michael - and here it is December - and even without sun glasses, I can recognize them. The problem is those orange Testa t-shirts and jackets everyone wears - they all look the same to this old man

and Jack and his hammer - working away

Looking east up the Pearman ramp

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer