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.

June 26, 2006: Mary and Satya and Sparky and the Navy Yard

When Jonathon is on holiday (probably watching World Cup Football) Sparky has to innovate. Here is part of our behind-the-scenes team: Satya and Sparky. Satya came to our IT Lab about 4 years ago from the Univ. of Southern California. He brought fresh insights to our group and took on the challenge reimplementing Josh's original mySiteMaker. mySiteMaker is a tool for building web frontends to mySQL databases. SiteMaker acquired the ability to generate RSS feeds and use HTML templates so that we could move beyond our original plain jane appearance. He also developed an innovative strategy to support access control. mySiteMaker is the database interface for these web pages.

Mary (the boss) - has been at MUSC since before I arrived. Mary is full of ideas and more energy than you can imagine. Her group is full of innovative approaches to web site development.

Meanshile, back at the Navy Yard - cleanup from a barge load of stuff

Reaching for the stuff

Biting the stuff

A heap of stuff chunks

A pile of stuff pieces

and big pieces

Just dropping a segment of the Grace or Pearman bridge, then fishing the pieces out is not the whole story. Here at the Navy Yard, Jackie and others are converting big pieces of stuff into small bites of stuff where they make their way into the scrap recycle business.

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C. Frank Starmer