The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 18, 2004


This Old House films third episode

A limited building permit and gathering thunderclouds did not deter the This Old House crew from resuming filming of the third show for next season on Thursday, June 10. The series will air in the fall. A few Carlisle natives parked their cars and bicycles nearby to sneak a peek at the future.

The show does not follow a set script but a rough outline. The third episode will contain several components filmed at the Carlisle location: digging the foundation, refurbishing the barn, and discussion of the delay in obtaining a permit due to septic system issues. Host Kevin O'Connor and general contractor Tom Silva were fast in conversation about the removal of the "ell" building, and digging the new foundation. Their discussion resulted in a makeshift verbal script for O'Connor.

"Let's beat the rain," said senior producer and director David Vos to the production crew, which promptly scampered out of the eye of the camera. O'Connor got into a pickup truck, and backed it up ten feet to the foot of Concord Street. He then drove up onto the site.

O'Connor opened by recounting his discussion with Silva about the "sad" necessity to tear down the century-old ell building that had connected the barn to the house, but concluded, "It's for the best." Vos wasn't pleased with the exact wording, and thought O'Connor looked too happy with the solemn subject of tearing down antiquity. O'Connor got into the pickup truck again, and backed up ten feet to the road.

Take two. O'Connor didn't use the exact words Vos suggested, but adopted a more solemn manner in discussing the teardown. Using his own words, he came across as natural and unrehearsed. These characteristics add to the show's credibility, one of the reasons for its popularity.

The show will begin its 25th season this fall, celebrating that historic mark by focusing on a single site the Carlisle project — for most of the year.

"It's great to be working close to home for a change," said master carpenter Norm Abram of Elizabeth Ridge Road. Abram is also the host of The New Yankee Workshop, aired on WGBH.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito