Maybe 60 rubberneckers gathered near Michelle and Kevin McCarthy’s new place in northwest Santa Rosa to gawk at the spectacle of a house virtually hacked in half by a bizarrely up-tipped crane. I was just another of them, but snooping is my job.

I assume we all felt a bit guilty to stand there shaking our heads at the awesome and ironic (Reliable” Crane) accident that put the McCarthy’s out of the home they’d moved into only two months ago. Michelle and Kevin McCarthy pulled up as crane-company employees and firefighters pondered the challenge of righting the great crane and we gawkers yammered about how nobody was hurt, at least, and how  interesting it will be to see who is responsible for rebuilding the fractured home.

I asked the McCarthys how they’re doing. Michelle said they would really like to get into the house to retrieve some things.

“I want to get my kids’ stuff,” she said. “There are things they are missing.”

How are her children faring just now?

“Not good,” she said.

Let’s hope she and her family are surprised by how quickly the rest of the dead oak is removed and the house is made whole and they’re back in and starting over.