As masons, Jason and Resha Jones have laid a combined 1 million brick, tiles, and stones. Jason, 43, picked up the trade growing up in the construction business in Long Beach, Miss. Resha, 40, began the trade when Jason persuaded her to leave a career in nursing and join him as a colleague at Grazzini Brothers and Co. As husband and wife for five years, they have weathered countless challenges together. Today, that partnership helps add the finishing touches to a massive undertaking in civil engineering. In a city of famous buildings, every stone and tile they’ve laid the past two years on the Silver Line Phase 2 project is a monument to their relationship, a symbol of their adventure together, and their testament to an unwavering commitment to quality craftsmanship.
You’ve been married five years and now work together on the Silver Line Phase 2 project? What’s it like to work with your spouse?
Jason: It is as challenging as it would seem from the outside! You wake up in the morning and you’re going to work with the same person you went to bed with the night before. It’s a lot of time together. We have to go through everyday issues together. So, it can be challenging. I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody, but somehow we seem to do it.
Resha: Jason and I have been through a lot in our years together. And I think this project is challenging and also an adventure for us. I’m very excited we are doing this together because it’s something that we both can be proud that we accomplished as a husband and wife. That’s something I’m very proud of. We make a great team, and we work pretty good together.
What’s an average day look like for you?
Jason: We wake up, and if one of us is a little bit worn out from the day before, the other usually serves as the motivator. We kind of push each other, and we compete. Resha has five brothers, so she doesn’t hesitate one minute to get in there and get it going.
Tell me about what you do specifically on the project?
Jason: She and I both have done as much as the job entails, and more. We’ve done the edgestone granite at each platform. They’re 8-foot long by 2-foot wide pieces of 550-pound granite edgestones. She and I both laid those. We’ve installed pavers. We have worked with the crane operators to get the merchandise and materials on the platform. We have organized, set up, and broken down every facet of our projects. We’ve done pretty much everything there is to do out here.
Is there any particular part of the project that you’ve enjoyed the most?
Resha: I personally liked putting in the granite stones. It was challenging, and I found it pretty fun. That was huge for me – 550 pounds, having to haul it down. After the work was done, I looked at it and it was really nice. Everything’s leveled.
Jason: I like the fact that there’s so many trades working. In every location, we’ve got five, six different trades trying to get their individual jobs done. And trying to plan and coordinate with everybody to get the work done – that, to me, was the most challenging and inventive part of it, and I enjoyed it. That, and the edgestones – the tolerance to within a 16th of an inch. The actual rail and the train runs right next to that. So, we have to be on point.
Is there anything you’d like the people who will use the Silver Line [Phase 2] to know about the blood, sweat and tears that go into the work?
Resha: I want them to know a combination of things: that they’ll be safe with what was built. And also that everybody who’s worked on this project has really worked hard to make it not only look nice, but to make people feel comfortable and safe in a good environment.
Jason: I think everyone has come together with the area in mind. We all have done our part to make sure the quality is there and that we reached our goals, not only for the inspectors, but for the people who will use the system.
Jason, you’ve got a lifetime in construction, many years of doing masonry work. When you look at the work you’ve done and what you see on the Silver Line Phase 2 – in terms of quality, how does it compare with other projects you’ve been on?
Jason: There are two sets of quality control companies – one that represents the owner, and then one that represents CRC. So not only do we have to satisfy one QC [Quality Control] rep, we have to satisfy two. As soon as one goes through, you’ve got another one coming. So, it’s relatively impossible for things to get overlooked. The quality, I think, is absolutely phenomenal.