Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day - Part Two!

Since yesterday was Fathers' Day, I've decided to continue on with the theme of Mike and his kids and post another really good article about the family dynamic that runs through the heart of Mike Holmes' shows.This Canadian Press article reposted from is about a year old, and talks about Mike Jr. and Sherry joining the crew of Holmes Inspection.

I think it's totally cute that Mike use to build handmade Barbie houses for his daughters when they were little. They were probably more like Barbie Dream Mansions, with a detached garage for the Barbie Hot Pink Dream Convertible, and of course, a man cave for Ken. No Barbie Dream Mansion would be complete without the Barbie Dream Hot Tub. (Can you tell I use to play with Barbie Dolls a lot as a kid?)

I think all parents want their kids to be mini versions of themselves. I can only imagine how proud Mike must be of all three of his children, to have them not only following in his footsteps, but running after his enormous strides. Mike has some pretty big shoes to fill, but with a dad like Mike on your side, failure just isn't an option.

Hope you had a great Father's Day yesterday, Mike! One day of celebration is just not enough!

Two of Mike Holmes’ children join show
The cast of HGTV's Holmes Inspection, are from left: Adam Belanger, Rob Brown, Mike Holmes Jr., Damon Bennett, Mike Holmes, Carl Pavlovic, Sherry Holmes, Nicole Faucher, Evan Jatou and Uncle Billy Bell.
In the family The cast of HGTV's Holmes Inspection, are from left: Adam Belanger, Rob Brown, Mike Holmes Jr., Damon Bennett, Mike Holmes, Carl Pavlovic, Sherry Holmes, Nicole Faucher, Evan Jatou and Uncle Billy Bell.
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Following dad into the family business isn’t always easy. When your dad is Make It Right contractor Mike Holmes, you better be prepared to roll up your sleeves.
Two of his three kids, Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes, are part of his regular work crew this season on Holmes Inspection. The series returned for a second season Thursday on HGTV.
All three were on hand at a work site in the northwest corner of Toronto a few weeks ago, gutting a 50-year-old suburban bungalow that had been contaminated with asbestos and lead products, a too familiar find in properties of a certain vintage.
“Anytime before the ’80s they used asbestos in the plaster,” says Damon Bennett, the crew supervisor Holmes refers to as “my general.”
Holmes is on a mission to save the environment one house at a time, limiting grey water drainage and channelling new sources of energy and power.
“Do you really want to bring arsenic into a house?” says Bennett. “Mike’s leading the way in trying to change the industry.”
Holmes, 47, couldn’t be prouder that his children have followed in his footsteps. (Another daughter, Amanda, works in the office).
Sherry Holmes says her dad took her to work sites at an early age and was always building stuff for her, including a handmade Barbie house. “It had hinges and opened up and everything,” she recalls.
Working for her dad isn’t always easy, she admits. He’s a demanding task master and treats her like the rest of the crew.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says. “I’ve worked hard to be accepted into this man’s world.”
Her brother, 21, says he was more into school and not so much into construction as a young teen. Holmes Sr. says his son had a “black belt in Nintendo.” Holmes, who did his first plumbing job at 12 and had his own construction crew at 19, couldn’t understand his son’s initial reluctance to get his hands dirty. He says shop classes turned him on to building projects at an early age and laments that there are few of those programs available to high school students today.
His son is now motivated by all the exercise on the job. Hauling gravel, wood and drywall has him in shape, although he also works out at the gym. After all, people expect him to have his dad’s Popeye forearms.
“I have to live up to the image,” he says.
Both kids say being involved in efforts to build homes in New Orleans were life changing experiences.
“When we went to New Orleans, I somehow fell in with the construction crew,” says Sherry Holmes, who had previously joined her big sister in the office. “I worked harder there than I have ever worked before.”
Holmes says both kids wanted to quit half way through the New Orleans experience, which was hot and gruelling.
“I knew it was going to be hard on everyone,” he says. “They were all starting to drop in that heat.”
A month or so later, however, Holmes says most of the crew wanted to go back.
“They love an opportunity of making a difference someplace else. That’s why we’re going to Haiti. That’s why we’re probably going to Kansas City and piss off the tornados — because I can.”
Holmes hopes to inspire other kids to get into the construction business with his next TV venture: “Mighty Mike,” a cartoon series based on his childhood adventures.
“I was always building tree houses and stuff,” he says. He hopes to have it up and running within a year.
He’s surprised by all the children who watch Holmes Inspection and his other shows.
His children are now at an age when they’re buying their own houses. His son recently picked up a bungalow that is quite the fixer upper.
“It’s a lot of work coming home after a full day’s work,” he says.
Even Holmes himself admits there’s some truth to the old adage that a contractor’s home is never finished. That’s where Bennett got smart.
“I just bought a condo,” he says. “The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is work on your own place.”
The Canadian Press

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