Holmes in New Orleans

Season 1 Episode 4

Leader of the Band

Aired Tuesday 7:00 PM Apr 30, 2009 on HGTV

Episode Recap

With the roof framing and sheeting complete, the tradespeople are able to get to work on the interior of Gloria's house. First in were the electricians, headed by a local man, Donald Fabacher. His father had suffered through Hurricane Betsy many years ago and was shocked when Katrina came along. He and his workers volunteered their time and materials to help Mike, the Holmes Foundation and the Make It Right Foundation put Gloria and her grandchildren back in their home. He was just as upset as Mike and Brad Pitt were with the government's response to this disaster and how the funds were being allocated. He knew that without a helping hand from good-hearted people, the Lower Ninth Ward would never be rebuilt, so he decided to do what he could.

With Pinky's departure from the job site (episode #2), Mike and Damon had spent a number of days screening potential local replacements so that the crew would not be short-handed. Since both of them are proponents for having more women in the skilled trades, they had asked Simone Bruni (from Demo Diva Demolitions) to send over any female handypersons she thought might make the grade. After some deliberation, they had finally chosen Rusty Higgins to join their New Orleans project.

With the project back on schedule, Mike took some time to visit King Milling, the Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation. He and Mike discussed the history of the wetlands in Louisiana, the initial construction of the levee system and the impact that human developments have had on the local ecology.

As the exterior sheeting begins to go up, Mike finds himself acting more and more as the ringleader of a 50 ring circus as all of the tradespeople are trying to get their own work done without conflicting with each other. In order to meet his deadline, Mike has to organize each of them perfectly so that no time is wasted whatsoever.

At this point in the build, Mike Holmes celebrated his 45th birthday. He was told by his crew that they would be taking him out to dinner. What he did not know was that he would be leading a parade through the French Quarter nor did he know about the huge bash held in his honor in a local hall. The event turned out to be the most memorable and unbeatable birthday celebration of his life.