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.

October 20, 2006:
Chinatown in Sinapore

Not many of my friends at home in the US have the opportunity to live and work in another culture. We have been richly blessed with cultural adventures in the USSR / Russia, Egypt, Nepal, India, Greece and now Singapore. It is time to share some of our cultural adventures, and for Joshua, Semantha and Stephanie - here is your first installment in Culture 101.

On Friday nights, Ellen and I meet about 7 or 7:30 for a small church service. Chinatown is only a short walk from my office - about 2 km - but the color, people and entertainment is worth twice the walk. Tonight I had to get a few photos enlarged and found a shop that would do it in 20 min. So what to do for 20 min. I wandered around the Chinatown MRT (subway) station where the evening entertainment was just starting.

Here, there is a quartet in the left corner and a juggler in the middle

A quartet with 2 Erhu, Harmonica and Pipa (I think - sort of like a lute).

another view

If you want a tasty treat - Chinatown is the place to be

Fresh fruit and spring rolls in addition to usual soups, noodles and stuff

But the ensemble simply captured my interest

as did the juggler. Here he is playing the harmonica, dancing and juggling all at the same time

another view

Evening traffic - a perfect opportunity to test my new camera next week

Across the pedestrian overpass is an alley filled with wall-to-wall markets

another view

Next week - maybe a better presentation and who knows what we'll find.

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C. Frank Starmer