Fischer Masonry had become the only company in the area doing large projects.
Fischer credited the company’s success to two simple things: Keeping a clean worksite and doing quality work.
“We weren’t sacrificing good work in order to get done faster and make a big profit,” he said. “We just wanted to do good work and clean up the sites when we were done, and people really appreciated that.”
During the company’s heyday, Fischer said he still tried as often as he could to go out and work on construction sites laying brick and stone.
“I was on the wall with my workers, because I felt like I had to,” he said. “I felt guilty not doing it, and I wanted to be doing it. But we got so big with so many jobs that I couldn’t. I had to stop and manage the company and I didn’t like that very well.”
Fischer Masonry boomed until the 1980s, but by that time many of his workers had passed away or started retiring.
But not Fischer. Although he kept doing large projects, Fischer let business gradually taper off as he grew older.
Now at 86, he said likes to stay busy doing small jobs here and there, like working on the stairs at the Seiberling Mansion, but he stays away from the big gigs.
“I’m well satisfied with what I’m doing now,” Fischer said. “I don’t want any big work or to manage any big crews … When you get up to over 80 years old, you don’t feel like going out there and busting it.”
But Fischer said he also doesn’t feel like quitting anytime soon. He still loves the work.
Larry Hayes, owner of Hayes Brothers Carpentry, said his company still works with Fischer on odd jobs, and he’s an outstanding mason.