Woman buys her father’s dream house in Hanford in memory of her | Lifestyles
More than 50 years after her father died in battle, Kathy Foley is remaking the dream house he bought in Hanford but in which he has never been able to live.
At the height of the Vietnam War, Foley’s father, Michael Estocin, was an A4 pilot based at Naval Air Station Lemoore. Fifteen minutes after leaving for work one day, Estocin returned home to tell his wife that he had found the house of his dreams.
They bought the house, but he was sent to Vietnam before they could move in. On April 26, 1967, Estocin disappeared while on a mission, Foley said. For a time he was believed to be a prisoner of war, but he was not among those released at the end of the war and has never been found.
After a birthday trip, Foley and her husband decided to return to Hanford to see the house. When Foley knocked on the door, she discovered that the house was occupied by the original owner who bought the house after Estocin’s death. However, in a strange twist of fate, the owner sought to sell the house.
Foley and her husband decided to buy the house and remake it, in part as a tribute to his father.
“I was 7 years old, I’m going to be 8 years old; My mother was 29 with three little girls, ”she said. “You ask your family what he looked like, but you never really have a clue who the person is, which is why making this house is so important to me.”
Ghosts of the Old West can still be found in the Bastille. The beloved and historic building, which dominates Hanford Civic Park, served as the Kings County jail and sheriff’s office from 1897 to 1964.
In addition to remaking the house, Foley’s mother took out photos of the family in the house and letters Estocin wrote to her during the war.
Foley said that all of these pieces together inspired her and her husband, who works in the film industry, to create a documentary about her father, using the renovation of the house as the narrative structure.
“It’s also interesting to be in my sixties, to have lived all my life wondering about my father, and finally to have these letters to give me a picture of who he was,” she said. declared. “But things come into your life when you’re ready for them. “
Although she has very few memories of the house itself, Foley said she has distinct memories of mid-century modern architecture in the house and, as an artist, brings it back to the life. As she tackles the artistic elements of the project, she said she began to understand why her father loved the house.
Foley will also make the house a tribute to Estocin. She is seeking to add the house to a list of accolades, including a posthumous Medal of Honor and a frigate named in her honor. She also plans to make the house an Airbnb designed to serve the families of the NAS Lemoore military.
She hopes the house can serve families visiting the people on the base, or those looking to stay in town for an extended period, as well as a place to honor her father’s former squadron.
“If a family comes to town to visit another family or loved ones at the base and you have a family, there is really nothing, they stay in local hotels,” she said. . “We thought it would be great so that we could use it and other people could enjoy it as well.”
For Foley herself, remaking the house and shooting the film was a journey. Not only was this a chance for her to meet her father and honor his memory, but part of the trip also took her and her mother, Quay, to Vietnam to officially say goodbye to Estocian. They were able to make the trip before the COVID pandemic hit.
Foley said that as an artist remaking an entire house has claimed that she can successfully create a complete vision. She has been learning modern architecture and decoration for years, and the home has been a way for her to apply this knowledge.
But more importantly, redoing the house allowed him to marry his growing internal relationship with his father and his ability to express himself physically through art. Foley said bringing the emotional and the physical together gave him a sense of closure.
In opening the house to others, she said she wanted to offer the same honor and appreciation that the house will represent her father to fellow service members and their families.
Foley said his father was honored for his sacrifice, but other servicemen and their families make serious sacrifices and often go unrecognized. With several rooms, a barbecue and a swimming pool, as well as an aviation theme, the house will hopefully serve as a happy space for those at the base.
“In life, when something big like this happens, you either let it take over and cloud the way you view your whole life, or you take it and try to keep creating something better.” , she said. “Making this house gives me a chance to feel close to him, and I hope I make him proud.”
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