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.
Scotty was recruited as a deck hand
Our early morning team: Chris, Manny, Scotty, Chucky and Nugget
Early morning view of the Ravenel and to the right - our worksite
After arriving at the barge - its time for Pat's 2nd or 3rd tea
The worksite - removing this unit as two halves (left) with Manny's 2250 (right)
Here is Motivator, Gary who is full of beans, sings his guitar and generally charges everyone with his smile and energy.
Scotty pulling all the pieces together
Chris and Nugget off to set up the yoyos
And a reminder - yesterday's catch of supports and roadway girders
First to rig the upper section - Nugget and Chucky cut holes on each side though which will pass cables attached to Manny's crane
Here is a better view of cutting the holes.
Gary preparing the cables
Hmmmm - a group therapy session
Limp cables before (left) and unlimp cables (right) enabling Manny to stabilize the top section (unlimp is a frank word, not for Joshua)
Chucky at work
Chris directing traffic as Manny removes the slack in the hoist cables
Cousin Arthur looking on
Chris starting the cuts that will separate the top half from the bottom half - while Chuckie watches
Sometimes, even Frank watches - here Sparky catches me moving from the primary barge to the receiving barge
Chuck starts cutting the corner girder demonstrating 6 different
ironworker acrobatic positions
Position 1 (wrapped):
Position 2 (the one step position):
Position 3 (balanced):
Position 4 (the saddle position):
Nugget buring the west corner - in Position 5 (the teathered position):
Chris joining the action cuts the center element using Position 6 (the standing position):
Nugget cutting the southwest corner support
Nugget cutting the northwest corner executing Position 1: the wrapped position as seen from behind
Nugget demonstrating the standard ironworker acrobatic Position 1, from behind
Nugget cutting the north center element - starting
Chris burning his cut line - and starting on the right
about half finished
and almost complete
Now cutting the diagonal brace
Here you can see the diagonal element cut (standard acrobatic position 1)
Chris finishing the final cut.
Then Manny takes over - Watch Manny Gracefully lift Grace's upper torso (3 Mb mpg). Sparky was at the other end of the barge for this view (2 Mb mpg).
and gently placing Grace on the barge for a trip Up A Lazy River
Up a lazy river where the robin's song Wakes up in the mornin', as we roll along Blue skies up above ....everyone's in love Up a lazy river, how happy we will be, now Up a lazy river with me (instrumental break) Up a lazy river by the old mill run That lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun You can linger in the shade of that fine ole tree Throw, away your troubles, baby, dream with me Up a lazy river where the robin's song Wakes a brand new mornin' as we roll along There are blue skies up above...and as long as we're in love Up a lazy river, how happy we could be If you go up a lazy river with me Ah said with me now.....goin'up that... lazy river..... with me Louis Armstrong recorded this song December 10, 1956 with the Sy Oliver Orchestra and with the All Stars December 11, 1956
Soon work starts on the bottom half: Gary cutting the base
Nugget starts cutting the base
Time for me to make my way home - so Lewis, a multiple personality ironworker from my Ravenel adventures is here
One of the wonderful aspects of working with Sparky is he seems things that I don't see - here, Lewis and myself - on our way home - late, as usual for Ellen - sigh - what a tolerant wife. Here is Sparky's view of my exit.
Meanwhile - Chris and some serious burning on Grace's base
a different cut
Nugget (far) and Chris (near) - an acrobatic duo
A close look at the base cut
Nugget in the saddle position - cutting away
and its almost complete
Chris finishing up
Nugget finishing up
All cutting complete - and now its time for Manny's song.
Lifting - Watch Manny Gracefully lift Grace's bottom (2 Mb mpg)
and placing her bottom on the barge
Another day and another graceless base
Our bridges in the background
and no story is complete without a view of Tenacity of purpose. Look what a smooth surface Michael left for Mickey. Phillip and Silas have drilled 45' holes for Wednesday's implosion of the T-3 substructure - aka Tenacity of Purpose
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer