by Wallace Trickett
Sue and I lived here back then and our retired neighbour was a very strange character indeed. He used to tell everyone he was a former CIA officer, and he went around taking photos of children…. So one day the elder children bricked up his letterbox as a joke.
But the highlight came one day after he had swept up all the autumn leaves from his driveway. Across the road a little girl had a bad accident; her mother rang emergency services: they responded and we saw at least 6 police cars arrive! Well over-the-top and word got around. The Westpac rescue helicopter was summoned to take her to hospital with her mother.
The Police obviously did not realise we lived in a cul-de-sac and one car would have been sufficient to stop traffic. So there we were looking like a scene from a Hollywood action movie!
The photo shows the helicopter arriving with three of the four police cars outside our house, the others were around the corner. The little girl and her mother soon left for Wellington where she made a good recovery (hot water scalding) and everyone left as if nothing had happened.
The best part, though: our neighbour had all his leaves returned to him plus a lot more via the downdraft from the helicopter!
Our ‘CIA agent’ neighbour — ha ha — was afternoon napping throughout the whole action, the biggest thing to happen in the street and he slept through it!