About the book

By Dick Bell

The Bridge Builders is an adventure story, of sorts, of the times, places and people who directly influenced my “coming of age” as a landscape architect.

In my later years, I’ve realized that the world I grew up in is completely foreign to our children, and will be even more so to our childrens’ children. I wonder about their spirit of discovery and whether or not they are capable of viewing life as a never-ending learning experience. So I decided to write a trilogy of books that I hope will capture that spirit of adventure and discovery that I experienced, both as a child and later as an adult determined to find my own place in this big world and perhaps even make a difference.

The first book in the trilogy, entitled The Bridge Builders, follows the long path that leads from a Duke’s estate in England, where both of my grandparents worked, to their immigration to Canada and to my father’s escape to the “paradise” (his words) of this place called “Carolina.”

The Bridge Builders also explores my childhood where I learned at the feet of my parents and peers in those lean, early years, and then describes the great adventure of being part of the evolution of the brand-new School of Design at North Carolina State University. Then I take readers on the journey I experienced as I traveled throughout Europe – through 22 countries – after I received the Prix de Rome to study the history of ancient lands and the impact of world religions on the creation of world civilizations. Book One concludes back in the States as I got down to the business and pleasure of marriage, fatherhood and building a profession. The next two books will explore the rest of my life and whirlwind career, and include some “soothsaying” about hopes and dreams and realities as I strive to leave, as I’ve always liked to say, a little beauty behind.


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