Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stepping Up

I am still struggling with the same post I have been working on for the past few weeks. In the interim the following story has achieved some local note and I thought it worth telling.

For the last week or so our neighborhood has been agog as Ty Pennington and the crew of "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" has descended on it. As usual, they have created a lot of local press for the show with Senators, Congressman and a Governor all showing up to put their face to the process. Although the show picks worthy recipients and its likely done with great intentions, Ty and the shows producers receive a reward in money and adulation. They do not need mine.

This story is about people who stepped up to a problem with no mind to the personal cost.

Vicki and Erik Swenson are teachers at Hopkins High School. Both are doing worth while work but will never get rich doing it. Last year the justice system failed Vicki's sister Teri Lee and she was brutally slain by a stalker. The Swenson's stepped up and took in her 4 children. Add that to the child they already had and the twins they were expecting at the time and you can see where things might be a bit strained around the Swenson household. Vicki has also become something of a local spokesperson for Victims Rights

"Extreme Makeover" stepping in is a great story. To me the great story is the Swenson's. People who step up to a problem knowing it will be hard make me humble.

BTW, they put up the new house in 99 hours. WOW


Ed Abbey said...

Although I love the message of that show, I can't stand hyperactive Ty. I think he needs to be put on meds.

Sue said...

I think the show is great... although it reduces me to tears practically every time. When they did a show in Iowa last winter our eldest son had a friend work on the crew so we got lots of "insights" to how it worked. Very interesting... Of course, it isn't near as spontaneous as they make it appear. Well, duh. Everyone knows that, I guess.
In regard to the last commentor - Ty went to rehab this summer. :) That might have a little something to do with his actions?

Notsocranky Yankee said...

What a great story. I've watched that show a few times -- I love remodeling shows and the goodwill makes it all the better.

Ed Abbey said...

Ahh.... so Ty needed to be taken OFF the meds. That makes sense.

mal said...

Ed, Sue- from the comments I heard from folks working around there, Ty may need to go back to rehab.

I feel for anyone that struggles with addiction. My sympathy gets shorter as the excuses get longer though

Not So- *L* I am not sure I would call a teardown and rebuild remodeling

Alice said...

i agree with almost everyone... love what the show does, can't stand ty. i tend to not watch it though, because i get so irritated with myself that the schmalzty endings always DO end up reducing me to tears, despite my best efforts ;-)

Gary said...

I too love that show - we get whole days worth of Extreme Makeover on satelite here, although after eight to ten hours of "driver, move that bus" you do start to exist in an alternative universe where you just want to tear down your house with big machines and then build a new wooden one - timber framed houses are still a novelty here.

QUASAR9 said...

A house built in ninety nine hours?

Did they rest on the fifth, sixth and seventh days

mal said...

Alice- no question, he does go for the gut wrenchers. If you want a go laugh, rent "Wild Hogs" Ty is the closing scene and is totally upstaged by Ray Liotta. It was hilarious

Gary- that sounds almost as bad as a "Gilligans Island" marathon

Q9- they spent 24 hours emptying the house and demolishing it. 24 hours on Decorating and Landscape. That left them finishing a bit more than a day ahead of schedule. They must have had some awesome planners and supervisors on the job

sage said...

I haven't seen the show, but my daughter loves it (along with all the home improvement shows)!

Herr Krokodil said...


It's nice to have someone helping the middle class poor.

I've sponsored and helped with numerous Habitat for Humanity houses. These houses are for black women with 7 kids.

Have a good day off. Remember no white thongs after Labor Day.

Fantastagirl said...

It's amazing how the show works, and while some of them are very deserving, others you kinda wonder. I'm glad the one in your area is very deserving.

But in other cases - how responsible is this? To build home so extreme - the taxes, the utilities, etc. If they can't fix/maintain the home they have how are they going to maintain this new home. All homes need maintenance - no matter how new.