Skilled tradesmen put skill and stamina to the test
By TIM ROWDEN
Fenton, MO – When it comes to laying brick in St. Louis, no one is better than Bricklayers Local 1 Journeyman JT Payne, of Foeste Masonry, and his hod carrier and brother, Apprentice Bricklayer Jakob Payne, who won the Sept. 13 Spec Mix Bricklayer 500® St. Louis Regional Championship, earning a free trip to the 2019 World of Concrete trade show and a chance to compete in the World Championship in Las Vegas.
The competition was held at K&K Supply in Fenton.
• Fastest and Best: The Payne brothers not only took First Place in the competition – laying 683 bricks in 60 minutes – they also won the Craftsman Award for the quality of Brother Payne’s brickwork.
“A lot of people don’t realize physically what it takes to do that,” said Brian Jennewein, director of the Bricklayers Central Region Administrative District Council (ADC) and a member of Local 1. “In a standard day, a Bricklayer might lay 500 to 800 bricks in an eight-hour work day. These guys did it in an hour. It’s amazing. They spend months training for this.”
The Payne brothers are third-generation Bricklayers. JT is a married father of three boys, any or all of whom could make this a fourth-generation bricklaying family.
Jakob has a baby due in early 2019.
Their uncle, Mark Foeste, was a two-time “Fastest Trowel” winner in 1994 and 1996.
• Second Place went to Local 1’s Javier Chacon and his hod carrier Steve Braswell of John Smith Masonry Co. – laying 625 bricks in one hour.
Brother Chacon has been in the trade for 18 years, 14 with Smith Masonry. He’s a second-generation Bricklayer and is married with three kids.
Brother Braswell has been in the trade for 20 years, 15 years with Smith. He’s a second-generation bricklayer and is married with two kids.
• Third Place went to Local 1’s John Lenzen and hod carrier Josh Garrett of Swanson Masonry, Inc. – laying 604 bricks in an hour.
Brother Lenzen is a fourth-generation Bricklayer and has been in the trade for 24 years, three with Swanson. He’s married with four daughters.
Brother Garrett has been in the trade for 19 years, five-and-a-half with Swanson. He’s married with three kids.
Other union teams included:
• Gary Douglas and Randy Fickens of John J. Smith Masonry.
• Bill Tackaberry and Grant Nickles of JDS Masonry.
• Terry Daniels and Brandon Palmer of John J. Smith Masonry.
• Josh Petty and Danny Petty of JDS Masonry.
• Edward Londo and Aaron Holcot of Heitkamp Masonry.
• Nate Milster and Brian Timmermann of Toenjes Brick Contracting
• Mike Laramie and Lannie Hopkins of Lampkin Masonry.
• Keith Dutile and Tim McGrath of Lampkin Masonry.
• Dave Helms and Dan Johnson of Heitkamp Masonry.
Now in its 17th year, the Spec Mix 500® World Championship – the Super Bowl of Masonry – is held in January at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry trade show to answer the question: “Who is the World’s Best Bricklayer?”
Bricklayers from throughout the world will compete for more than $120,000 in cash and prizes, including a 2019 Ford F-250 4×4 truck and a John Deere Gator Crossover Utility Vehicle.
Twenty-eight teams of bricklayers and their mason tenders battle for 60-minutes to become the 2019 World Champion. Each team puts their skill, speed and stamina to the test by building a 26 foot eight-inch, double (width) brick wall.
The team that puts down the most bricks in one hour with the highest quality craftsmanship wins.
“It’s a very neat experience for the members,” Jennewein said. “It gives guys a chance to get out and showcase their skills. Everybody from across the country will be there. It truly is the Super Bowl of Masonry.”