If you’ve ever walked down Sunnyside Ave on your way to town, chances are you’ve seen (or heard) Dr. Brad Frazee and his pals hanging out on his front porch. Originally from San Diego, Brad moved from San Francisco to Mill Valley in 2002. Brad’s life was changed forever in 2006 when he was hit by a car while biking, leaving him without the use of his legs. Brad works as an Emergency Room Physician at the Alameda County Medical Center. When he’s not on his front porch, he spends his free time hand cycling, visiting the library, and harassing friends with his “wand of power.”
MVP: When did you move into the house on Sunnyside?
Brad: December 2006 after my accident. My friend Hillary Peterson found this house for me while I was in re-hab. And then she bought my house in Blithedale Canyon.
MVP: How did your accident happen?
Brad: I was on a road bike ride and got run over by a car. I was on Hwy 1 right above Tam Valley right where Green Gulch and Panoramic come together. I was at Kentfield Rehabilitation Center for six months.
MVP: So you have a new life but the same town?
Brad: New life, same town. I try to live vicariously through the people around me in terms of the fun sports activities that they’re doing. People say they’re going out on a ride and I say, “What trail?” Sometimes they say, “You don’t want to know.”
MVP: Where was your first house in Mill Valley?
Brad: Blithedale Canyon. My mom bought that house in ’95. I was living in San Francisco at the time and she moved up from San Diego. She and I found that house together. I made her build a hot tub and she never got into it once.
MVP: And then you bought it from her?
Brad: Eventually, she was finding the stairs and location not ideal for her anymore. We (my ex-wife, kids and I) wanted to move to Mill Valley so we bought her house and she moved to Sausalito. Then she moved back to Mill Valley and now she lives up the street on Dell Lane.
MVP: Are ya’ll trying to take over the street?
Brad: Yes, we’re actually going to build a tunnel.
MVP: Do you like Sunnyside better?
Brad: It’s sunnier and quieter. Isn’t that weird? If you live in one of those canyon houses it’s like an amphitheater. Here it’s open and flat and somehow quieter.
MVP: Do you miss living in the city?
Brad: Yes, but I think if I moved back to the city I’d miss Mill Valley more than I miss the city.
MVP: What do you like about Mill Valley?
Brad: The women. The moms.
MVP: I remember when we first moved here and the little league parade went by my husband said, “There are a lot of hottie moms here!”
Brad: Sometimes it’s like a frat house. We just sit up here and do cat calls. We get the keg flowing. Everyone walking into town is forced to walk by.
MVP: What restaurants do you like?
Brad: is a go-to. I like the new place, but the mandatory disabled level bar is always taken by able-bodied people. I am also totally amazed that ’s is always so good and well managed.
MVP: I like to go there for drinks.
Brad: The cougar bar? That’s the cougar bar.
MVP: Do you like cougars?
Brad: I sort of prefer the young moms and nannies. The pre-cougars.
MVP: What else do you like to do in town?
Brad: I love the library. I try to see all the movies at the .
My new hobby is that I find recently re-paved streets to go to in my chair for exercise. My new favorite spot is in Homestead Valley. The library and my porch are my main hang out spots.
MVP: Are there any local artists or musicians whom you follow?
Brad: Ann Cummings. She just produced a CD. I want to see her in ASAP. She’s a singer songwriter and a mom, and a resident of Sunnyside Avenue.
MVP: Weren’t you on the planning commission?
Brad: I was involved in the . It was really interesting seeing the Mill Valley planning and politics.
MVP: Did it make you feel better or worse about your town?
Brad: Better. The town is intimately involved in the process. So much so that it was hard to get a decision made. But I think . The design is going to be great.
MVP: Do you have local political aspirations?
Brad: No, I’m out of my league. There is so much talent here and so many people with great qualifications.
MVP: You also have a beautiful garden.
Brad: I’m an avid gardener and I always need help pruning. I have friends who come over to help and I have a bamboo stick that I use to point to places that need pruning. I call it the wand of power. It takes about five minutes for people to get annoyed. I’ve also got two new awesome sheds. One is semi-manly and one should be in Dwell Magazine.
MVP: What is BORP?
Brad: BORP Is Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program. They are a non-profit in the East Bay that works to promote sports and recreation for disabled athletes and families with disabled kids. They have an annual fundraising ride in Sonoma. I’ve gotten a team together and done it for three years. It’s about 23 miles up in the dry creek valley. It’s beautiful.
MVP: Do you ever have neighbors or friends calling you and asking for medical advice?
Brad: Yes, I do procedures out here on the porch. I’ve removed ingrown toenails, drained fluid off a knee. It’s all done outdoors, kind of like colonial India.
MVP: Do you mind when the neighbors call for help?
Brad: No, I actually like it. It’s fun.
MVP: Anything else? Do you like your neighbors?
Brad: I do like my neighbors.
MVP: Better than the neighbors in the canyon?
Brad: Actually we had a pretty tight group in the King St. Canyon in the day. But Sunnyside has the best block party in Mill Valley. It rocks and rolls. Bar none!