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 13, 2006: Coleman Recycling Center

Early in December, Corey, Leon's son, wrote to me wondering where the photos of his dad were. Good question - I had managed to miss Leon many times. He was either on a barge or on Drum Island - or wherever - but always where I was not. But today I caught him. Roy told me yesterday that since a number of Testa guys got an extra holiday in Boston, thanks to weather and canceled flights, he would probably be working with Leon in the Coleman Recycling Center. So off it went - in search of ...

Sparky got there first - so here is his view of the worksite - Roy hidden on the left and Leon operating in the middle.

Roy was deeply engaged in serious cleaning up. Moving Grace roadway segments from A

and placing them in B

and as always - a view of jaws. After stringing together several photos - here is an video of Roy operating (8 Mb mpg)

Leon was loading

and Delmos was hauling the asphalt pavement at this end of the Recycling Center

Making it look pretty easy (but its not)

Leon sent a message to Pete - Corey's son and consequently Leon's grandson.

The sun is going down

and here is Corey's dad and Pete's grandpa

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer