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.

July 7, 2006:
The preluce for final prep of C-2 and boom

Today was a fun day for Mickey, the Hebb clan, the Nally clan and the Witte clan. Here is Cousin Arthur waiting for today's finale. Also in attendance is part of the Witte clan - Teasie, Liza and Matthew. Even from Singapore, I felt the excitment that Mickey, Ken and their team create.

For orientation, here is our reference photo

Discovering how Ken links the shock tubes to sequence the ignition

Mickey, Ken and a Discoverer linking the shock tubes

Ken on the C-2 base with the leading shock tube

Teasie, Matthew and Liza with C-2 and the shock-tube array in the background

Sonny and Stan (on top)Taking good care of Mickey's new Copco

Stan protecting Mickey's new Copco on the C-1 base with a nice rubber tire blanket

After the wrapping - Stan hopping off while Sonny just chills a bit

Mickey and the shock tube line to C-2

Discovering how Mickey plants the master shock tube and receiver unit

James and the whistle

Art and his Eddie R

James, Art, the Eddie R, Ken and the Discovery team

Our man, Sparky - smiling as usual

Our man, quiet Manny - always with a smile

An almost completely unbuilt P-9

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C. Frank Starmer