An Unwelcome Fly-Over.
We have a neighbor who owns a helicopter. I don’t know his name; I don’t want to know his name. But I was sitting here wondering what I could write about today when the son-of-a-bitch provided the inspiration by flying right over our place on the way to his personal private helipad. It’s next to his home which is about a mile or so up slope from here.
He doesn’t usually fly over our place, but the wind has changed direction. Three-hundred-fifty days a year, we get trade winds out of the Northeast. Today they’re coming from the opposite direction. Maybe that’s it.
I should emphasize that, despite what the helicopter might imply, this is not a ritzy neighborhood. On the contrary, this part of Maui–referred to as “up country”–is quite rural in character. Most of the properties around here are at least several acres and it’s not uncommon for parcels to be 25 or 30 acres. Many are primarily used as pasture for horses or goats and the houses on these properties are invariably modest in both size and construction.
I suspect that’s not the case when it comes to the guy with the helicopter, although I have no idea what his home is like since it’s not visible from the road and there is a formidable gate at the entrance to his rather long driveway.
When he finished building his house and was getting ready to move in, word circulated on the upcountry “coconut wireless” that he would be glad to chat with anyone who might have an issue with his helicopter’s comings and goings. A few weeks after that, I ran into one of our neighbors who had taken Helicopter Man up on his offer. Apparently, the chat was almost entirely one-sided with the pilot describing how he had met all the safety requirements the FAA had demanded. Essentially, the message was, “I’m legal and there’s not damn thing you can do about it.”
There was some grumbling at first, mostly because people felt the helicopter could signal the start of a transformation for this part of Maui. So far that hasn’t happened. But we’re ready for the next one. And this time, no more Mr. Nice Guy!