The Art Of Being Back

Words: Todd Fredrick

Dan Kamys, Editorial Director -

  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough with the past two years of nonsense. No, I am not saying that my plans include going out and licking doorknobs anytime soon. But boy, it would sure be nice for us to get on with our lives with this craziness in the rearview mirror. It feels like we could be getting close to that point. Fingers crossed.  What’s dragged me out of my longstanding hibernation from writing these notes, you ask? A return to form at the 2022 World of Concrete. We got to meet with one another in a (mostly) normal setting and conduct some business, network at afterhours events, and enjoy the massive MASONRY MADNESS® Day in the Silver Lot. No, it wasn’t exactly like it used to be, but absolutely worth cherishing. I look at my kids (I have two now by the way… hi from dad, Louie), and find it hard to believe that nearly half of my son’s life and all of my daughter’s life has been spent dealing with what was the equivalent of a drawn-out fear response. In no way am I saying that it was an unwarranted fear response at all times… I’m sure we all had moments of genuine uncertainty. But I look back now and just can’t believe how much of my kids’ lives have been spent growing up in a radically different way than I did. I’m ready for this phase to be over.   That’s why this issue of MASONRY Magazine could (arguably) be called the most celebratory in the publication’s history. We have a CMU Checkoff Program getting underway, which was a massive, time-consuming undertaking by nearly all major players in the industry. Win. We just came back from the 2022 World of Concrete, which certainly felt as normal as possible. Win. Our industry research continues to indicate an overall positive sentiment and trajectory for the trade. Win. The victories keep accumulating as long as we keep going as individuals and groups. We never stopped, and that’s saying something.    We’re deeming this issue a celebration of the masonry industry that happens to coincide with our World of Concrete coverage. In particular, I would recommend reading Jeff’s endorsement of Jessie Vargas, a young former boxer who is setting his sights on a political career. He visited us during our MAC PAC Breakfast and left a strong impression on many of our members.  Our coverage of the competitions looks a little different this year, and we are featuring interviews with winning Fastest Trowel and Skills Challenge contestants right here. Read the Wall Of Fame interview with sixth-generation mason, Phil Cote. GEN NXT features Julia Rose, an up-and-coming young professional within the masonry industry. NCMCA also highlights their organization’s work and gives us a look at what’s coming for the remainder of this year.  This issue is about the dedicated people who are affiliated with this industry, and I’ve had the pleasure of growing close with many over the past six-ish years. We kept going, and that’s worth a small celebration. Then it’s back to work.  dsig
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