Legacies of Masonry

Dan Kamys, Editor – dkamys@masonrymagazine.com

When I had the opportunity to sit down with the Mackie Bounds for his Masonry Hall of Fame interview during the World of Concrete, he mentioned that the word “legacy” made him think about being dead and gone. However, he continued that he had a lot more to accomplish. Maybe I could’ve added the words “so far” to the phrasing of the question, but the truth is a legacy is something that has been written in the past, is being written now, and will continue to be written in the future. Yes, an ideal legacy should go beyond someone’s death, but I like to think of it as a living thing.

The phrase “you can’t take it with you” was something I had to explain to my wife the other day, and it’s been stuck in my head since. The truth is, a legacy, much like the ambiguous “it” in the saying, can’t be taken with us when we’re gone. You leave it behind for the people you love to remember once we’ve moved on to our granite mansion and pink Cadillac in the sky, to steal Mackie’s visual.

I asked the question to force our inductees Damian Lang, Mackie, and Curtis Hoover, to reflect on their achievements so far. While I’d agree sitting and gloating is unhealthy, I’d argue that taking just a minute or two to savor your life’s work while you still have a chance is a healthy thing. Especially when receiving something like an induction into a Hall of Fame.

To a larger extent, my whole rambling about one interview question extends to the industry as a whole. Throughout my three Hall of Fame interviews, Damian, Mackie and Curtis at one point or another all mentioned the pride the masonry industry should give the people working in it. The structures last, they have character and a history, and they’re something to look at. They can’t burn down, rot out, and it’s pretty hard for them to get blown over. They were built by the sweat and hard work of men and women who know an honest day’s living.

On a less visible but arguably more impactful level, each of you, our readers, is doing a similar thing in the lives of the people you employ. You are giving them the chance to better themselves and be proud of the work they do. Masonry as a building material is here to stay, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the workforce. That’s the reason so much of this issue is dedicated to the MCAA Annual Convention and the World of Concrete.

Events like the MASONRY MADNESS® competitions, the annual South of 40 event at Señor Frog’s, demonstrations in masonry innovations, and honoring those who have made a tremendous impact within the industry occur because we all want to show off the trade. There is a lot of pride, and it’s my hope that the small showcase we display in this issue can be used as a resource for anyone who’s thinking about going into the industry.

“Take pictures,” was a piece of advice our instructor inductee Curtis Hoover gave during his interview. In a sense, consider this issue a picture of the masonry industry’s pride. I truly hope you enjoy reading through it and looking at the snapshots.