July 2012: From the Editor

Words: Dan Kamys From the Editor

“Freedom isn’t free.” I believe this saying. I don’t serve in the military, so I’m not on the front lines to defend our country. I am not a politician, so I don’t listen to my constituents before casting a vote for – or against – various pieces of legislation. I’m not even a mason, so I do not possess the skills and talent necessary to create a beautiful brick, block or stone building. I can only write about these things. Still, I have the freedom to make a living at journalism, and have done so for the last 20 or so years.

We all measure success differently. You might measure success by the size of your home and the make and model of your vehicle. Maybe you feel you’re successful if your business merely turns a profit at the end of the year. You might look into the faces of your children or grandchildren – who, hopefully, are happy and healthy – and feel you’re living a successful life. Or, maybe, it’s a mix of all of these things.

No matter your barometer for measuring success, you have something millions around the world do not: the freedom to thrive and prosper. It’s what this country was built upon. I, for one, am thankful to our military, and for the opportunity to work as much or as little as I want. We all are privileged to say we have the freedom to do so.

Letter to the Editor My husband and I had a small (five to 10 employees) commercial masonry business and also did some residential homes for almost 30 years. However, last August 2011, we could no longer keep paying liability insurance, upkeep of equipment, etc., due to the lack of work. So, we closed our business. We are thankful that, during those 30 years, that we had many good years. Here is our observation: It seems that companies with very good sales people to promote paneled concrete walls made to look like blocks or bricks; Dryvit; and tin buildings with maybe a little bit of brick or cultured stone are doing a much better job of selling their products to general contractors and such.

We toured the D.C. area last fall and both commented on the beauty of the masonry buildings. Blocks and bricks require very little maintenance and stand up to the test of time, weather, etc. My husband always said that the masonry industry has to do a better sales job of promoting their product! One issue is, over the years, we did many repair jobs of replacing a damaged building, and that is not possible when a solid panel is damaged. Also maintenance, painting, cleaning of discoloration, etc. is a problem and ongoing expense.

Enough said, hope that the art of masonry, blocks and bricks will make a comeback, but it needs to be sold as the superior way to build.

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