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 22, 2006: Mt. Pleasant and Billy Ward

Walking down memory lane - the old Grace access road. Sparky met Billy Ward today and watched the 995 in action. Serious cleanup after Mickey and Ken

The access road

Here is Billy Ward working away


and moving

and dropping

more scooping

moving and dropping

Meet a recent addition of the team: Billy Ward

Then walking down the road to the old Grace ramp

closer and more memories

sort of a peg-leg Grace

And in the background, Michael's praying 1250 on the right, Mickey's new Copco on the right and in the middle the 995 is doing some scooping and moving and dropping from the river bottom to the barge

And to the left is the new Mt. Pleasant observation pier with floor girders spanning the old Pierman pier bases

Back on the Cooper RIver - Michael's praying 1250

Mickey's new Copco and to the right, the 995 doing its scopping, lifting and dropping

When the 995 scoops up a mouthful of stuff you can't even see the boom

then slowing the 995's neck appears

with a mouth full of debris


and drops - just like Billy does it

Now walking back up the access road

There is Billy still scooping, moving and dropping


and dropping

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C. Frank Starmer