Thirty years ago King was making $12,000 per year as a fireman when he and his wife Lin found a redwood grove for sale in Northern California. They bought the property for $30,000 and with the help of a lot of books (“Design Drawing”, “Wiring Simplified, Soils and Septic Tanks, How to build and Design, Build and Maintain Your Swimming Pool) they began to build first a small carriage house, then a swimming pool and finally the home of their dreams with cathedral ceilings, stained-glass windows and a “treehouse” bedroom.
When the kids were young, King converted the top floor of the carriage house into a “granny flat” for his mother to come live with them. When their son was in high school he put up his own yurt as a bedroom. More recently, the couple began growing grapes- they bought a pre-fab Quonset hut for their tractor-, took a few courses on winemaking and within a couple of years had won awards from the county for their reds.