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Sometimes a guy just has to get away and be a guy. He may crave a retreat where there are no rules about furniture, color schemes or matching accessories. Leather and vinyl can rule in a "man space;" they forgive all spills.

Function frequently follows form in a guy's lair. While some women might dream about a room dripping with shelter-magazine charm, a guy doesn't necessarily give a rat's patootie about fine decor. He may just want to look at things he likes. His space is a place to get away, play and display his treasures.

In honor of Father's Day, we invited guys to show off their sacred "man spaces."

<b>A grand garage</b>

It wasn't until his two kids left the nest that retired San Rafael firefighter Greg Geide realized his long-held vision of building his own shop.

One thing after another kept forcing him to put the project on hold. But after a day of crawling around on his Graton driveway restoring a 1958 Airstream trailer and then complaining to his wife about how sick he was of working outside, she urged him to indulge his dream.

He did 90 percent of the work himself on a 1,000-square-foot shop and garage, occasionally recruiting his fire department buddies to help out with heavy stuff.

Completed three years ago, it is a place not only to work on his classic vehicles, like the Airstream, a 1956 Chevy Nomad and a 1964 Chevelle, but to display his vintage collectibles. He has the sign from Petaluma's old Foster's Freeze and other neon beer signs and clocks, old coin-operated machines and "just about anything that puts a smile on my face."

"I created a space for myself where it's just as enjoyable to go out there and sit down in a chair and have a cool drink on a warm afternoon as it is to go out and work on something," he said. "I feel like I've hit all the right spots."

<b>World-class tiki bar</b>

Only bad weather will keep Chris Williams from the corner stool at his favorite watering hole.

It's an easy one-minute walk to Williams' World Famous Tiki Bar, a fully stocked man-fantasy bar with a prime spot beside the kidney-shaped pool in his Santa Rosa backyard.

"It's all about New England," he said. "I grew up there. My roots are there. I absolutely love it back east but you can't beat the weather here," said the die-hard Red Sox and Patriots fan, flipping on the big screen beneath the palapa on a perfect June afternoon.

He ordered the $6,500 hand-made structure from an East Bay company that imports them, hand-made, from the Philippines and installs them as well.

That was six years ago and as Williams, a retired electrician declares, "I've been sitting in it ever since."

And while he's not averse to chilling out on his own, the retired electrician loves nothing more than to entertain a crowd of his golfing buddies — and frequently their wives — along with his gregarious and fully supportive wife, Teresa, who he met over a Bud Light at Bennett Valley Golf Course 10 years ago.

Williams' Tiki Bar is such an institution, it has its own Facebook page.

<b>Classic clubhouse</b>

When Brad Butler first looked at the rundown Santa Rosa house he eventually bought and restored, he didn't even notice the unfinished in-law unit hidden in the back shrubbery.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

But once uncovered, the 53-year-old salesman saw the possibilities. He set to work finishing off the 800-square-foot cottage into the ultimate men's clubhouse, complete with 65-inch TV, tons of 49ers and Giants collectibles, a life-size Joe Montana cutout, a complete kitchen, a drum set, foosball and air hockey tables and the requisite moose-head trophy on the wall.

It's furnished with stuff deemed unworthy of the house.

"My wife is horrified," he says of the decor. "She thinks it's hilarious. She says there's nothing in here that she would put in there (the house). It doesn't matter to me. I just go in there to hang out with the guys, watch sports and stuff."

He and his wife, Karne, have parties there, and he also lets his teenage daughter hang out there with her friends.

But for the most part, this is his turf, a place for men's movie nights — lots of old Westerns — and Super Bowl and playoff gatherings.

"I'm the only man in the house," he explains. "It comes in very handy sometimes."

<b>Patio lounge</b>

The 880-square-foot Rohnert Park condo John Fitzgerald, 41, shares with his wife offered nowhere to hide, but that didn't stop him. He got creative and annexed his tiny patio into a man space with 32-inch TV, string lights and a gas grill. He covered the pitted concrete with tile to make it nice. Because the patio is open to the rest of the complex, he bought a long cable cord and brings the TV, perched on a shelf fabricated by his late father-in-law, into the house at night.

His pride and joy is an authentic old Camden Yards seat from the Baltimore stadium, that he ordered online.

His hangout is a curiosity and conversation starter among neighbors in the complex and Sonoma State University students who walk by and frequently comment about how cool it is.

"I have met so many people in the complex," he said, "just because I'm out there."

<i>You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at meg.mcconahey@pressdemocrat.com or 521-5204.</i>

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