In Bakersfield, California we meet the Elcano family. Jennifer and Glen were high school sweethearts who got married and had two kids named Michael(11) and Ashley(6). They took over the family farming operation of twenty acres that has been in the family for one hundred
years. Growing and selling hay is tough work. With a recent tragedy forever altering the lives of this family it is even tougher. Three months ago Glen was in an auto accident that he did not survive. Jennifer lost her best friend that she worked with every day on the farm and misses him every minute of the day. The kids were understandably devastated. Glen kept the family and the farm going and now Jennifer has to step into those shoes. Jennifer has been buying hay and reselling it, but that does not generate enough cash to live on. They just might lose the farm completely without some serious help. The team understands that it is going to be a sad week, but hope to raise the spirits of this fractured family.
Ty and the team roll up to the house and cheer the family out of the house. Clearly they are touched by the arrival of the team. Ty tells them they will be going to Disneyworld for their vacation.
Next they get down to looking at the rickety house. It is a very emotional thing because the family’s loss is so fresh. Paul informs us that there is no real foundation so they have basically been living in a large shack.
Jennifer has been running her business from the bedroom. Tracy wants to make sure she has an office that is completely
separate from her living space. So far it leaves much to be desired in the way of a restful retreat.
Ty asks about a model airplane that is left half done. Michael says it is the project that he and Glenn were working on at the time of his death. Next Michael shows the team his bedroom. It has a few creatures of the reptile variety. Ty, Preston and Paul seem to be fascinated by them. Tracey and Constance are missing out on the fun. I get the feeling that they do not feel like they are missing a thing.
Ashley shows them her room and it is obvious that she is a girly girl with a love of horses. She says that she wants to be a "horse rider" when she grows up.
Ty sends them off in the Limo and the team gets down to the plans. They understand how tender this family is and they make plans for family fun. The house is not the only thing that will get a makeover this week. The entire farm will have major surgery. They plan to plant alfalfa that results in hay and build a six thousand square foot barn to hold all that hay.
Ty quickly calls the family to see if they know any welders in the area that can help out with building new chicken coops. Jennifer says her mom is one and would probably love to help. Ty declares the office his special project and they get rolling on their plans. The team realizes they can not bring Glenn back but they want to feel his spirit here and keep a pair of his boots to put near the fireplace in the family room.
Demolition day is upon us and the entire construction team is ready to tear the house down. Ty has a different idea and brings in two supped up tractors to haul it down tractor pull style. The house was not as rickety as first suspected and does not tumble. Ty brings in the big boy excavators and they do the trick. The family is pretty shocked at seeing the house come down via TyCam.
Paul took the half finished model plane to a local hobby shop and asked if one of their experts could finish it even with some of the missing pieces. Michael had tried to complete it but was discouraged when all the parts were not there. Paul wants to make sure it is taken care of and Todd at the hobby shop is certain that it will not be a problem.
Tracy takes a trip to Timeless Furnishing, a local store, to furnish the house. She says that everything she needs is there. They have some really beautiful items. I would not mind shopping there once I win the lottery.
Ty understands that this family needs to move some hay to keep their heads above water. He plans to fill the land with alfalfa and goes to Glenn's best friend for advice. They both call all the farmers in town and the trucks and tractors start rolling in with all the equipment and seed they need to cover the job. These farmers are donating their time and tools to help out their neighbor. What a great community.
Now that the old house is out of the way the new framing is going up fast. The crews work through the night to get the house and new barn started.
Tracy heads to the Fairfax Saddle Shop to deck out Ashley's room in real cowgirl gear. She finds it all and is thrilled as she strolls through the store trying out all the items.
Grandma Diane and Grandpa Lester show up to help with the welding and any other areas that need extra loving care. Paul decides to take them on a tour and each of them is visibly touched during the tour. Grandma calls Jennifer and tells her that the makeover is everything that she and Glenn dreamed of. Then Grandma explains to Ty what a wonderful man Glenn was and how happy he would be with all of the changes.
Paul and Preston are building an entire bedroom full of reptilian crawlers for Michael. They plan a headboard made of two terrariums, a veritable "bed of snakes". That might sound a little creepy to most but Michael will love it. The scaly fun does not end there. The room is filled with reptiles from ceiling to floor.
Ty figures that one bus will not cover all that they have built and call his friend Randy Travis to lend them his bus. Randy obliges and ends up working on the house to boot. Ty asks if he would throw a free mini-concert to benefit the family and he graciously agrees. He says he is willing to do anything that will help out this farming family. This community is a very loving and they fill to the brim the hardhats that are passed around. The song that Randy sings is called "Four Walls" and is about a farming family just trying to live a simple life. This touching song perfectly fits this situation. Everyone in the crowd is boohooing and we see pictures of the family as the song plays. Even Randy seems touched by the outpouring of love.
Ty shows us that now that the barn is nearing completion, all they need is some hay. Truck after truck of hay rolls in, donated by the farmers and dairymen of Bakersfield. Grandma and Grandpa were visibly shaken by the generosity. They understand just how their loved ones lives will be changed. There are more than 34 different farmers and dairymen donating the goods and at least fifteen thousand bails of hay.
Paul is making a saw horse for Ashley's new cowgirl gear. Tracy is excited to get the furniture and can not wait to get it all in the house. The crunch is on and everyone is scurrying about in “last minute” mode.
Todd from the hobby shop shows up with a complete plane and Paul is thrilled. Everyone understands just how important the plane is to Michael. Even as the last minute touches are being applied the workers are smiling and joking around. Everyone is having a good time and the house is alive with joy. Paul brings out Glenn's boots and places right on the fireplace where he thinks anyone would be happy to warm their boots.
The Elcano family arrives for the reveal and they shout for the bus driver to move. Jennifer immediately starts to cry and her children cling to her. Michael is trying to comfort her and his sister as the man of the family. What a great kid!
Ty takes them to the front porch and ushers them in the front door. This family does not cheer and hop up and down like most we have seen. They quietly walk around looking at everything, trying to take it all in. They spot the boots on the hearth and are glad that they are there. The house is open with a large family room and kitchen. Jennifer wonders whose house it is, because it sure does not look like theirs.
Michael walks into the reptile house at the zoo...wait...not the zoo; his room. Jennifer says now he has his own pet shop. Then Michael sees the plane and tells us that he feels like he is closer to his dad now that it is complete.
Ashley is thrilled with her room and I am touched at how excited her brother gets about all her goodies. She has her own saddle and boots with chaps to match. There are pink and red hats hanging on the walls. Jennifer points out the picture on the bedside table of Glen and herself. Ashley gets a little misty and joins Jennifer for a comforting hug.
Jennifer enters her master suite and is blown away at all the space and
beauty. She has a huge walk in closet and an enormous bathroom all decorated with feminine touches that seem to be just her style. She loves it and says she feels like a queen.
Ty shows the family the new office for their GlenJen Farms customers to
visit. It is built on one end of the house with outside access for the customers and attached access for the family to use.
Then the family is surprised with another bus to move. Behind it is the huge red barn to match the house. In front of it is all new farming equipment and inside holds all the hay they can sell. Once all of that is sold they can sell what is growing in the fields and being watered by their new irrigation equipment. Behind some of the hay is a new work truck and then the design team rolls up in a nice car that the family can drive around town in. It is overwhelming to take it all in, but there is more.
Randy Travis walks up and tells them about the performance the night before and the money that was raised is at sixty thousand and growing. Jennifer is very excited to have Randy Travis at her home. Randy sings a song for the family and the crowd gathered and again the tears flow. Jennifer hugs everyone and says she feels very blessed with hope for the future and love for all involved in the makeover.
That’s it for this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Join us next week and make sure you bring a hanky.