Cody Hanawalt, Dusty Timberman take part in Extreme Makeover event 9.17

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Cody Hanawalt would be hard pressed to call it a vacation, but his week volunteering with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Toledo was certainly like no other week of work.

Hanawalt, the walls crew chief for Midwest Poured Walls of Toledo, and fellow Morenci resident Dusty Timberman, the flat work crew chief for Midwest, spent a lot of hours on the construction site.

“We were there every day doing something,” Hanawalt said.

That’s what it took to demolish an existing home and build a new one in 106 hours.

Starting Tuesday afternoon, the concrete crew was on the scene overnight and all day Wednesday until 10 p.m.

“I went back Thursday to pour the patio and left Friday morning,” Hanawalt said.

Of course the workers returned Sunday afternoon when the new home was revealed to Aaron and Jackie Frisch and their 11 sons.

“My boss asked me about a month ago if I wanted to do it,” Hanawalt said.

During the week, more than two dozen Midwest employees put in time at the construction site. Their initial chore was to pour 340 feet of walls.

“We threw them up in less than an hour and a half,” Hanawalt said. “Normally it probably would have taken eight hours. We were really going at it.”

Work crews were given breaks for refueling, then got back on the job.

“We were pumped full of coffee and energy drinks,” he said. “There was so much going on, it really kept you going.”

Hanawalt said the atmosphere at the construction site was almost like a carnival. Campers were parked everywhere, there were always people watching the progress—some on rooftops, security into the neighborhood was tight, and there were some very interesting people.

For example, there was the guy standing in front of him who looked like Scuba Steve from Car Stereo One.

Turns out it was Steve and Hanawalt got a handshake.

“He’s just as crazy in real life as he is on TV,” he said.

When the show is presented locally on Channel 13 early in November, viewers will see the polished version of the Frisch family homecoming.

“They did five or six takes of the limosine arriving,” Hanawalt said, and the same for other portions of the filming. “It was unreal how many takes they did.”

The week was a vacation in that the volunteers weren’t paid for doing the work, but that was all right with Cody.

“It was worth it,” he said. “You’re only going to do something like this once in your life.”

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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