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Louis Johnson changed the elements of rock processing with the introduction of the rollercone crusher with roller bearings and the three-shaft horizontal screen. Susan Moorhead, daughter of Louis Johnson of El-Jay Manufacturing, reflected on her late father’s life and legacy during his induction into the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame on March 24.

WHEN SHE FOUND OUT THAT HER FATHER, LOUIS JOHNSON, WAS SELECTED FOR INDUSTRIAL INCLUSION IN THE PIT & QUARRY HALL OF FAME: We are all very proud of him and believe he built the best crushers in the world. I didn’t really understand all this until February. Cade Seeley from Kimball Equipment called me and asked if I was Louis Johnson’s daughter. That was quite unexpected because my father has been dead since 2007. He said he had hired my father for the Quarry & Mine I remembered Quarry & Minebut no Hall of Fame. It was a bit like getting a ring in a Cracker Jack box.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AGGREGATE INDUSTRY: When I was at the Denver airport, I wondered how many square miles of concrete there are there. Then I land here (in Nashville) and as I’m being driven to the hotel, I see concrete everywhere. Your industry is the foundation of civilization. Without you, we would have no civilization. They say food, clothing and shelter are the basic needs of life. I think that’s wrong. It’s rock. Rock is the foundation. Without rock, nothing else could really exist.

TO SPREAD THE INDUSTRY’S MESSAGE: You have a story that needs to be told to the world. People need to know how absolutely critical (and) fundamental you are to their existence. If people knew what you do, if they understood the importance of your industry, I think that would make a difference. If you’re already doing that, I commend you for doing it. If not, please consider it. Go into any high school any day there’s a job fair and introduce yourself. I think young people today are so hungry for meaning and stability in a very uncertain world. If they knew they could be a part of your very honorable profession, I think they would feel like they could really make a difference.

ON YOUR SON’S PRAISE OF YOUR FATHER: I would like to reproduce here the eulogy my eldest son gave to my father in 2007. These are his words:

“Rocks seem like the most mundane of things, yet Grandpa’s brilliant mind was devoted to these things. I’ve talked to my grandfather about many things over the years. When the subject of economics came up, he expressed his frustration with the loss of American manufacturing. ‘We need to actually produce something,’ he said. Sometimes he talked about the basic products that society will always need. ‘Society will always need rocks,’ he said.

“It’s amazing how much our world changed in Grandpa’s lifetime, but he invested himself in something that hasn’t changed. No matter how technologically savvy we become, we will need stones beneath our feet and in the walls that protect us. It’s true that loved ones who have now passed on live on in our hearts, but I think it would be just as appropriate to say of Grandpa that he will live on in the stones beneath our feet – no matter what path we take in life.

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