• Vermonter’s cabin fever gets him on TV
     | February 17,2014
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    Half of a school bus is positioned to be added to a log cabin in southern Vermont. Jeremy Pratico and his cabin will be featured on the National Geographic Channel this week.

    Jeremy Pratico’s new log cabin incorporates a school bus.

    The Rutland native, now living in Arlington, won’t say any more about it than that, so if your curiosity is piqued you’re going to have to check out “Building Wild.” Pratico is to be featured on Tuesday’s episode of the National Geographic Channel program.

    The show airs at 9 p.m., and the Paramount Theatre in Rutland will host an encore screening at 4 p.m. Saturday.

    The program, which is halfway through its first season, follows “The Cabin Kings,” a pair of builders who executive producer George Verschoor said operate out of the Bennington and Hoosick Falls, N.Y. region, as they build the dream cabins of people who applied to be on the show.

    “I think the big part of it that’s attractive is it really taps into the outdoors, following people as they build their little piece of paradise,” Verschoor said.

    He said the show focuses on craft rather than interpersonal rivalry, and the drama arises from the team trying to solve novel construction challenges.

    Each cabin has some sort of a twist. Verschoor said the team has done one with an elevator and another with a wood-fired hot tub.

    “There’s one cabin built on a giant turntable so the cabin can turn and face the sunrise or the sunset,” Pratico said.

    Pratico’s twist involves a school bus, and that’s all he or Verschoor will give away.

    Pratico heard about the program when the company was advertising for proposals in the area, and was accepted after a process that involved a number of interviews. The cabin was built on land his grandfather owned on Mount Equinox.

    “We have 13 members of my family that deer hunt on it,” he said. “We do hiking and spend weekends summers up there. ... Years ago, I hiked up there to a little log cabin and wrote, by candlelight, my ‘100 things to do before I die’ list. One of them was to own a log cabin.”

    Having his own cabin — in addition to the one in which he wrote his list, his family has one on the land with electricity and water — had been an ambition of Pratico’s for some time.

    “Even when I was a little kid, I had my plan of what I wanted in a log cabin,” he said. “These guys made it happen. ... It sure came out super-cool. ... They rolled in on Sept. 5 and they did the whole construction that week. I had to get 20 volunteers for each day. They all showed up and helped with hammering, drilling, carrying.”

    Pratico said the 16-by-20-foot cabin can comfortably sleep eight to 10 people.

    “I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it,” he said last week. “I’m actually headed up there this weekend for three or four days. It takes a while to heat up, but once it heats up, those logs hold heat nicely.”

    Pratico is said he is excited to see himself on television.

    “I do worry about — you hear about the haters or the people that are just jealous,” he said. “You can’t worry about that too much.”

    @Tagline:gordon.dritschilo @rutlandherald.com

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