One brick at a time

Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tribune Photo by Clint Confehr Dewayne Davis and Carol Lambert reflect on the lives and friendship of his father and her husband Saturday at the Marshall County Public Library.

The friendship between two Lewisburg men was remembered and memorialized Saturday as nearly 50 citizens gathered to celebrate the lives and work of Tully Davis and John Lambert.

Lambert was a building contractor; Davis was a brick mason. Among the projects they collaborated on was the Marshall County Public Library, built some 30 years ago on Old Farmington Road. In a place where normally only hushed voices are heard, there were voices in praise of the partnership which created that facility for the community.

A picture of the library drawn by local artist Melanie Gordon and photographs of Davis and Lambert were hung together on a library wall near the book checkout desk during a noon-day ceremony attended by friends and family of the two men.

"This beautiful library is a testament to them," said Bill Marsh, chairman, president and CEO of First Commerce Bank and a member of the Lewisburg Planning and Zoning Commission.

"Thirty years ago, this kind of library was unknown here," Marsh said of the building and book collection that stand as a landmark in business and civic development for Lewisburg.

The dedication of the pen-and-ink drawing of the structure, surrounded by two color photos of Lambert and Davis, was another civic event that celebrated two quiet, unassuming, humble men who needed each others' talent and ingenuity, Marsh said.

Among the relatives of Davis and Lambert were Carol Lambert, widow of the contractor who died in 2005, and Dewayne Davis, son of the brick mason who passed in 2001.

"We all loved John," Lambert said, noting banking and other business relationships between her late husband and area residents who attended the ceremony.

Asked about his father, Davis replied with a few words and a gesture, "Like today," he said, moving his arm toward the area residents at the library for more than books that Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the dedication of the drawing, nearly $500 was donated to the library, an amount that exceeded the cost of the artist's commission and the cost of framing the drawing.

Lambert and Davis were independent contractors, providing services to county residents. Businessmen attending Saturday reflected on projects conducted by Lambert, and homeowners were repeatedly heard to say of Davis: "He bricked my house."