A Picture of Our Time

Mike Taylor / September 2016

I hope everyone is well and busy with huge backlogs. As I speak to more contractors around the country, this appears to be the case. But there are some concerns about how long busy times will last. Let’s enjoy the moment for a change and not worry about what we cannot control: the future.
    
Speaking of the future, I want to raise a topic of much conversation among AWCI’s active members: the association’s plans to create a time capsule as part of its 100th anniversary in 2018. On the recent trip with the AWCI’s Continuing Study Committee, committee members looked at how to proceed with the time capsule format. What kind of capsule should it be? Should we use modern wall and ceiling materials in its construction, for example? How many capsules do we need? What do message do we want to tell our future generation? Photos and letters, perhaps? One idea raised by the committee was to include a note with a tool from our time.
    
Our history is a dynamic one that is charged with many significant events. We were formed as the Contracting Plasterers International Association by 26 lathing and plastering contractors at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 11, 1918, according to research I obtained that includes a story written in 1993 by Kathy B. Sedgwick on the subject at AWCI’s 75th anniversary.
    
Back then, according to Sedgwick, the association’s objectives were to deal with new government regulations, to prepare for the post–World War I construction boom and to build a solid contractor presence to deal with the three international unions providing manpower. Apprenticeship training, industry promotion and broad labor agreement were priorities. The CPIA, furthermore, aimed to establish a spirit of cooperation among members and provide service to the building public. Sound familiar? Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
    
Back to the present. As we plan our centennial in 2018 convention in Orlando, Fla., we welcome your thoughts and ideas regarding the time capsule. In my travels over the coming months, maybe we will meet up and have a chance to discuss it.

In addition to being 2016–2017 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Taylor is executive vice president of Liddle Bros. Contractors, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn.