September 23, 2009

Mister DeMille, please call ahead!

227 North Street certainly has a bit of celebrity flare. It's actually hard to get anything accomplished at times because folks want to look and chat, and if the truth be known... we love chatting! Though the reality of what we are doing is frightening and daunting, there isn't anything we love to talk about more than our house. Talk is one thing, but photos and film crews are a different story. I hate cameras! I don't really want to see how old I have become, so it is easier to simply avoid them, but sometimes they catch you completely unawares. Why is it that only seems to happen at your worst moments, like the waitress who is watching you out of the corner of her eye, and rushes over to ask how everything is, just as you have landed a huge forkful into your mouth. On the day of the lift we were out of bed at the crack of dawn, no showers, no shaving, no preparation at all, and with barely a swig of coffee we headed for the job site to watch the raising of the house. We were half asleep and really excited! When we arrived we actually beat the work crew and had a few early morning moments to enjoy the quiet, when arround the corner of the house came... the camera. Apparently Mister DeMille had not sent the memo to wardrobe, hair and make-up that we should look our parts, or perhaps we did, two beaten down, wide eyed, insane homeowners, about to see their home raised like the Titanic. Justin Whitaker of and his team have created a wonderful short film of the lift, and although we look HORRIFIC! you can see it by visiting,

Now Justin, you know I am just kidding and we truly thank you for the time and effort it took to put together this fantastic piece of film, and if you want to get a tag line... the house is coming back down onto its new foundation next Tuesday the 28th of September.


  1. Oh, the drama of it all! I so enjoy your humorous postings and photos, Mark. I drove by your house yesterday evening on my way to Parkpoint. You guys were out posing in the yard. I felt guilty for driving by rather than stopping to ask for an autograph. You will know so many people in town because of this great blog and all the fun energy you bring to town!
    Keep it up.

  2. I love your humor too Mark...forgot to give you the memo about the photoshoot?sorry....just remember on North street you are always "on stage" and never know who will pass by. Folks like to just stop in at our places when we least expect included. If I see a TV camera van outside I will text you "pull out a clean shirt from the trailer".

  3. You're making me want to move to North Street. Stop having so much fun!
    We only burn down garages, die on every corner, have accidents in intersections and find and lose lots of dogs on lower Haydon. Nothing as spectacular as Queens and Movie Stars and TV shoots!

  4. I thought you both looked wonderful. Isn't shabby chic in these days? It was so exciting to see this house lifted. I totally thought you were both crazy to even tackle this project. Now I am rethinking this process. Am loving this blog. I feel like I am part of the process.
    Love you.

  5. I am so sorry guys. The makeup and wardrobe trailers were out on a harvest shoot that morning and I just couldn't get the secondaries up from SF in time. Next time for sure though. I'm glad you enjoyed the video. Please do keep me up to date as it would be great to keep following this story.

  6. Maureen McCaffrey GradekSeptember 24, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    As a native Healdsburg girl who walked by 227 North Street on my way to St. John's for eight years, and then drove by it for umpteen more years until I moved away at age 19, (and back 34 years later,) it is really FUN, FUN, FUN to read your blog and see your pictures of the fine old house that I always loved and knew little about! I hope you'll continue recording your saga and let us see the pictures of the finished project. It sould like it will be fabulous!!!
    Thank you.
    Maureen McCaffrey Gradek

  7. Maureen's post made me recall this story she and her sis shared with me about their famous dad, Art McCaffrey. I think you'll like it, Mark and Phillip. It reminds me of your blog:

    “Then there was the time Dad went to the big premiere for one of Janet Gaynor’s movies in the 1930s. Janet Gaynor’s cousin lived in the Warnecke Mansion. After the premiere at the old Plaza Theatre, the entire audience followed Miss Gaynor and her cousin as they walked home--down West Street and up Matheson, trailing discreetly behind until Janet Gaynor disappeared inside the house.”


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