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.

September 1, 2006: Duke, NUS and Singapore
Building for Tomorrow

Many of you know that I've moved to Singapore. A well kept secret is that the training provided by PBC (Wade Watson, Marvin Tallent, Peo Halvarsson), Testa (Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley, Michael Hebb, Jackie Foley, Richie Bagan) and Cashman (Ken Canty, Joe Duffy) is being put to use here in Singapore. Simply said, Duke, which managed to unretire me, jointly with the National University of Singapore, is building the first graduate medical school in Asia - training clinician-scientists that will be the translators between Singapore's growing investment in biomedical research and health care. What an opportunity to be part of the economic engine that is driving Singapore.

I came as faculty member #3, part of the start-up team. We are starting from scratch - and admitting our first students in the fall of 2007. We are currently leasing 5 buildings to house our learning and research laboratories and I am building an enabling IT infrastructure - promoting learning and curiosity while avoiding the forgetting curve. I am moving Gene Stead's dream into reality Our new building will be completed by the spring of 2009. In short, Duke, the National University of Singapore and Singapore are building for tomorrow. A new building, physician-scientists and energy for tomorrow

Here is our dream

Our tomorrow

and our team

Our campus

Starting with this stone

First a small ceremony: before

with hardware

and who's who

Duke Dean Sandy Williams (who's lab was 2 doors down my the lab Gus and I used in the Sands building) speaks

and the building starts, one shovel at a time

and into the micro-dump-truck

and the project starts

and then dinner

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer