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Local store's merchandise is seen weekly on national TV

'GRIMM'


by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Inside the house-trailer set of GRIMMs central character, Portland Police Detective Nick Burkhardt, 52nd Avenue Hardware & Building Supply owner Steve Besaw admires one of the props in the weapon cabinet.Every week on the NBC television show, Portland Police Detective Nick Burkhardt uses his inherited abilities to adroitly fight supernatural forces on NBC Universal’s show, GRIMM.

But, behind the scenes, a crew of nearly 200 folks – mostly local craftsmen – labor on building the sets and props used at one of the production company’s three North Portland soundstages.

While visiting the set between filming, 52nd Avenue Hardware & Building Supply owner Steve Besaw stood behind a set, and pointed to one of hundreds of 1” x 3” pine board boards used to frame and hold up sets. “From what our records show, we’ve delivered about 37 miles of pine to this production, over the last two seasons,” he mused.

The tour guide, Construction Coordinator Alun Vick, said the producers continue to call on Besaw’s company, “Because they are the only people who can keep up with us. In this business – whether it’s wood, or special supplies like oversized doors – we always ‘need it yesterday’.”

Vick said he also appreciates the way Besaw and his crew continues to “find the impossible” and deliver the materials in a timely way.

“Sometimes we have to scramble, and find special products out of the area,” Besaw said. “We love to take on challenges.”

In short, with Vick running a full-time crew of 30 workers in his department, he can’t afford to have them sitting around, waiting for lumber and supplies.

“And, all of these folks are local people,” Vick added. “They're all from the metro Portland area – not Hollywood. We buy Miller Paint. Even the restaurants, gas stations, and Laundromats benefit; this production brings a lot of money into the area.”

But, too soon, the backstage tour ended, and it was Besaw who ended it. “I’ve got to get back to the store and help my dad – he’s working the counter while I’m out.”