March 22, 1999
CARNATION--Bob Andrealli has always been ready to lend a hand to others. But now he needs help, and the town is pitching in.
A longtime resident of Carnation, Andrealli, 75, recently become ill with bronchial pneumonia. While he was staying at a friend's house to recuperate, King County Code Enforcement condemned his house, a square-hewn log home north of town that was built in 1890. County officials tagged the approximately 900-square-foot house as unlivable because it is deteriorating and sliding off its foundation.
Andrealli, also known as Tractor Bob because of his regular trips up and down Tolt Avenue on his green tractor going from one odd job to another, moved to the house with his family in 1930. Except for service during World War II, he has lived there ever since, accumulating a collection of farm machinery and old cars and trucks. Code Enforcement says the junk needs to be cleared away, as well. Townsfolk say they are ready and willing to do the job.
"Everyone in town owes Bob a favor," said longtime friend Beth Stroh-Stern, who with Tolt historian Isabel Jones is organizing a volunteer effort. "We are all working toward helping Bob stay at his place."
Stroh-Stern said the immediate need is for a travel trailer in good condition so Andrealli can stay at his farm and take care of his cattle. The trailer needs to be 25-30 feet long and can be made as a tax-deductible donation to the Sno-Valley Senior Center.
As far as the house is concerned, Stroh-Stern said that historical preservationists have looked at it and believe it is worth restoring and saving. "We would like to have it designated a historical landmark," she said. "It will be a big project ... the house needs to be raised and it will cost a lot of money."
She said Carl Easters, from Easters and Kittle Architects in Issaquah, has offered free advice on how to save the building. Pat Fells, a Fall City architect, and Creasey Log Homes have also offered assistance.
Patrick Layman, an attorney, has pledged legal help, and Carnation resident J.J. Schmoll, a state electrical inspector, said he will re-wire the house. Davidson Lumber said they will contribute rough-cut timber for the substructure, Les Harmon has offered to donate labor for the roof, and Mike Gallagher said he will help with framing. Carnation Lumber owner Bob Cox has offered materials, lumber, and labor.
Milt Estepa and Bill Raether say they will provide equipment, including a backhoe and dump truck to help clean the area. Carnation Tree Farm owner Roger Thorson has been working on researching the historic value of the house.
Stroh-Stern said the local Starbucks and the Chamber of Commerce want to help with fundraising. There is also a "Help Bob Fund" at Seafirst Bank in Carnation that is accepting donations.
Stroh-Stern said so far, there are about 50 neighbors and friends who have offered to help. "Bob has always found it easier to give than accept help," she said. "He has always been so generous of his time to others, but he finds it hard to be on the receiving end."
Jones, who went to school with Andrealli, said Code Enforcement has been good about the problem and will hold off with enforcement as long as they know the problems are being addressed. "They aren't pressuring to put him out," she said. "It is great that everybody in town is trying to help him."
A meeting will be held on April 5 at the Sno-Valley Senior Center at 7 p.m. for all those interested in signing up to volunteer.