Maybe this says a lot about me, but most of the time when people use the term ‘eyesore,’ I either have no idea what they’re talking about, or it’s directed at me. In this case, the term is being used to refer to an Oceanside, Long Island man’s small airplane, which is parked in his driveway. Neighbors want him to get rid of it, and I hope he doesn’t.
The Cessna ended up in the driveway after the owner, 69-year old Harold Guretzky had to give up his pilot’s license for health reasons. Rather than paying $150/month to store the plane, he removed the wings and had it flat-bedded to his driveway. He replaced the wings — which, I should add, do not encroach on anyone’s property other than his own — and it didn’t take too long for the neighbors to start complaining, which led to ticketing and a summons from the Town of Hempstead Buildings Department which could cost as much as $2500, with fines every week the plane remains.
What baffles me is why did people give a shit? Multiple residents of his street apparently called the police — why? If you drive by a house with a plane in the driveway and your primary reaction is anything other than “hey, cool — there’s a plane in that driveway,” then I think you, as a human, have some pretty severe problems.
Here’s a quote from one neighbor, Deonna Ryder:
“It’s distracting and it’s an eyesore. That can’t stay there forever. It needs to be in a place where planes are kept.”
Who is she, his fucking mom? It’s distracting? From what? His garage door? The smooth concrete of the driveway? I’d like to imagine, if you’ll indulge me, a scene from Ms.Ryder’s life:
(Deonna and A Hypothetical Person Who Has To Live With Deonna are driving down the street)
DEONNA: Eaaaaaugggh! My eyes! My beautiful eyes!
HPWHTLWD: Donna! Donna, what is it, are you okay?
HPWHTLWD: Right. Sorry. What is it?
DEONNA: My eyes— they’re so sore.
HPWHTLWD: Why, what happened?
DEONNNA: I.. I saw a plane.
DEONNA: It was — it was not in a place where planes are kept.
HPWHTLWD: Dear god. It’s happening. It can’t stay there forever — can it?
DEONNA: (in shreiking, heaving sobs) IT CAN’T! IT CAN’T!
(DEONNA and HYPOTHETICAL PERSON WHO HAS TO LIVE WITH DEONNA then fall into one another, sobbing and wailing)
Is that what happened? Was it something like that? Did I capture the horror of knowing that somewhere on the street lurks a plane not in a place where planes are kept?
Grow the fuck up, Neighbors of Harold. You have a plane in your neighborhood. It’s a cute little plane. It’s no more of an eyesore than a car in a driveway or a boat or an RV or a trailer or whatever. It’s a plane. It’s sort of fun and cool that it’s in that driveway. It’s not hurting any of you in the slightest.
I’m a homeowner, too. I can honestly say if my neighbor wanted to park, say, his autogyro or moor his zeppelin above his house, he’d find no greater ally than me. There’s just no problem here. And if anyone says it’s hurting property values, I’d love to hear the argument about why that works that way. Because I do not get it.
I hope you can keep your plane, Harold, and I hope everyone backs off, already.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.