March 02, 2008 07:59 PM by DA Southern
Ty Pennington and designers Michael Moloney, Paul DiMeo, Rib Hillis and guest designer, Phyllis Bowie, drop in on the Lucas family of Cullen, VA to see if they can give the family an assist on Extreme Makeover: The Home Edition’s crusade across America to help a family in each of the fifty states.
Ty shows the team the application video of Michael Lucas and his wife, Jean, who have two children, Michael Henry and Joseph Nathan, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Michael and his family bought a piece of land located on one of the most famous battlefields of the Civil War about a year ago and, unfortunately, before Michael could finish building a home for his family, he was deployed overseas to Iraq.
Troubled by the unfinished home, he worries constantly for his family and their safety as he serves in Iraq. He also dreams of one day opening a public museum to showcase Virginia’s notable history as it applied to the Civil War. The Lucas family needs the help of Ty and the gang to not only build them a safe home but to also provide Michael a place to preserve the Virginia culture he loves so much. Ty was so impressed with the story that he actually pulled some strings to have Michael Lucas brought home from Iraq to participate in the build…or at least go on vacation.
In one of the most impressive “surprises” with the whole megaphone bit, Ty actually had a helicopter with Michael Lucas in it land behind the bus and then had him ride to the family’s home with the designers to surprise the family.
8:38 AM Ty arrived to give a shout out to the family and waited for them to come and greet the team. After greeting Jean and the kids, Ty told them he had a surprise and Michael ran from the bus. Ty told them they were going to Disney world for a week as Ty went to see the home that Lucas had started before being shipped out. Ty wanted to restore the vision for the family by finishing the dream Michael imagined and to give him the piece of mind to return home knowing that his family was safe in their new home.
Jean was talking to Paul and Michael Moloney about some of the original pieces that were taken from a Civil War-era home and how she would like to have them incorporated into the new home and the designers decided to make a special room for all of the civil war memorabilia.
Rib was talking to little Michael about his dream of becoming an oceanographer and guest designer, Phyllis, was talking to the autistic son, Joe, and saw his love of Pirates. With all of the room themes decided, the family was off to Disney World while Ty and local builders, Ken Broadwater Homes, along with the cast of thousands, tore into the never-finished home to begin the build.
The building crew arrived at 9:09 AM on day 2 to get started as Ty greeted them wearing a huge furry hat that made him look like the Disney character, Goofy. Ty manned the video camera to show the vacation-bound family the demo of all of Michael’s hard work and quickly demolished the frame of the home.
Day 3 quickly zoomed into view at 10:24 AM as the hour show had to cram a lot of building into the allotted time. Paul had the camera zoom out to show the new 3000 square foot Lucas home and then panned to the new Civil War building that will house the memorabilia from Michael’s collection. Designer Phyllis was giving us a glimpse into the pirate room for Joe and Ty was giving us insight into his secret room and actually painted the lens of the camera black. Not sure if that was the Ty-larious moment of the week, but still comical none-the-less. Rib was seen at the National Aquarium in Baltimore looking for his inspiration for Michael Jr’s room and decided to build giant scary fish that looked like they were coming out of the wall of the boy’s room. Nice!
Day 4 arrived early for the team as designer Michael was showing us how he was incorporating the old wood from the former Civil War-era home into the new home and Paul was gathering Civil War pieces from the new museum from members of the community.
Day 5 started for us at 11:13 AM with Michael Moloney showing us the similarities of the new home with a picture of an old Virginia home that originally inspired Lucas to start his build and it was a true Virginia inspired home in its design and styling. The designers were quickly showcased as they each expounded on their individual theme rooms and Paul was showing an old banister that was rescued that would be incorporated into the build.
Day 6 quickly zoomed into view at 4:20 PM as the build edged to completion as the furniture arrives and the final details being orchestrated before the family comes home on Day 7. Ty called the designers over to tell them that the family was coming home early because he had a special event planned.
Ty greeted the family as they arrived at the National Guard building and introduced them to their favorite singer, Country superstar, Toby Keith, who arrived fashionably in a big pick-em-up truck from Ford and then presented the Lucas family with the keys. Ty took the family into the National Guard building and Toby Keith sang a song he wrote, American Soldier, which had me…I mean everybody in the audience, crying.
Day 7 and the family arrived home for the unveiling of the new Virginia homestead. Ty quickly got to “Move that Bus” to reveal the colonial styled home to the Lucas family. Ty sent the family into the home and in a rare moment, had designer Michael Moloney come in to tell of the inspired details of the home that was not the typical contemporary styling we are used to seeing.
Son, Michael Henry, was first into what had to be the coolest kid’s room ever with the aquarium design that was 3-D in all of the features. Son, Joe, was ushered into his Pirate-inspired room and Ty then showed Michael and Jean the master bedroom that was behind the reconditioned doors that designer Michael had brought back to life. Ty then took Michael Lucas out to the new building that housed all of the Civil War memorabilia that Lucas had collected and told Michael that he did not need to worry about the family while back in Iraq as the mortgage was paid off as well.
Ty then gathered everyone for the final embrace as he uttered the famous, “Welcome home, Lucas family, welcome home” as the camera panned one last time at the new Virginia home.
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Photo Courtesy of ABC