“We don’t need to be looking for meaning in life, but a life that is meaningful.” -Joseph Campbell
This Sunday, February 19, at 5:30pm PST, Petaluma’s own Michael “Bug” Deakin will enter homes across America via his new reality-TV show Heritage Salvage. Airing on the DIY Network, the show, which is named after his business, follows Bug as he shares his passion for salvaging and repurposing old wood and turning it into something beautiful again. Many American homeowners will understand the plight that Bug faces, with their own homes being ravaged by pests that destroy roof beams and furniture. That’s why so many homeowners require termite control specialists to prevent their home from being completely destroyed. Luckily, Bug knows how to rescue damaged wood from pests as he’s something of a specialist himself.
Originally hailing from British Columbia, Bug is a world traveler-at one time, he was a boat pilot on the Amazon!-who has made his life here in Petaluma, setting down roots and furthering his booming business. But Heritage Salvage is more than just a business. It’s also a way of life. Bug and his company are committed to community and sustainability, to utilizing what we have, helping each other out, and protecting and reusing our precious resources. Bug says, “I am fortunate to live in the wonderful town of Petaluma, which has a social infrastructure of amazing entities dedicated to enriching the community by their daily acts.”
And we here at Cameron + Company consider ourselves fortunate as well. We had the privilege of making a book with Bug in 2014, entitled Heritage Salvage: Reclaimed Stories. The book takes readers on a tour of the bars, restaurants, and furniture that Bug created from materials destined for the landfill and features a foreword by Bug’s dear friend, environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill. In case you don’t recall, in the late ’90s, Hill lived in the canopy of an ancient redwood named Luna to help make the world aware of the plight of old-growth forests, a cause Bug is also deeply passionate about.
Heritage Salvage is also the story of a man and his adventures, the people he’s met along the way, and the history behind what he’s salvaged-not only salvaged, but repurposed, creating things of beauty. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Michael “Bug” Deakin is the best kind of treasure hunter, finding beauty in discarded remnants. He is also an enthusiastic preservationist with a love for the land and its people.
Bug puts it, “My message is that you can make a difference. Everything you do makes a difference. You can generate the snowball effect by sharing an idea with friends and getting their assistance. The viral effect of how you can grow an idea is exponentially commensurate with how many people you add to the chain.”
In a world driven by big corporations, Bug envisions an America where small towns are self-reliant and community-driven, where we grow our own food, barter our services, and work together to preserve this planet we all call home. And of course, to have a whole lot of fun while we’re doing it. As Bug says, “To love what you are doing is one of the greatest assets in the world.”
Click the link below for more on Heritage Salvage and don’t forget to tune in to the DIY network this Sunday, 5:30pm PST, to catch the pilot episode!
Michael “Bug” Deakin is the founder and owner of Heritage Salvage, a reclaimed building materials yard, and host of the reality series of the same name. He lives and works in Petaluma, CA.