From the Editor

Steeped in History

Jennifer Morrell

We all know that masonry, as a material, has a long, sturdy history. The points for using masonry are many: Brick, block and stone provide buildings with a life cycle that kicks the lumber industry’s butt. The aesthetic beauty is unrivaled, and green, sustainable qualities are plentiful, to boot.

But I want to write about the human factor of our robust industry. Masons, as a group, have woven quite a history as well. Working day after day as a mason is gritty, hard work – this we know. It’s hard to imagine, but for seemingly an eternity, the work was even more physical and back breaking.

Many of you masons who still make a living laying brick or block today can well remember when things were tougher. The industry has come a long way through innovation, education and a desire to work smarter.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a book written by Mark Kimbell entitled “The Hod Carrier: Leadership Lessons Learned on a Ladder” (available at Amazon.com). Mark did a fantastic job relating lessons learned from yesterday’s masonry industry to any decision you’d make today.

“It’s all relative.” For the longest time, this phrase was lost on me. But now, I get it. We work in an industry to makes a difference, not only through long-lasting, well-crafted structures, but also through its people. And the lessons learned in the work you do really can transfer into everyday life.

Steven Fechino covers flashing in this issue (p. 14), and he and his crew from Mortar Net dug around for a few interesting old images. These really speak to me and highlight the enormity of masonry’s history.

I would love to see your “old school” images. You can email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or mail to: Jennifer Morrell, c/o Masonry, 506 Roswell Str., Ste. 220, Marietta, GA 30060. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 18:05