If you read my “Round 1” war story you'll know that I was on the Homestead AFB Housing Office’s shit list… probably at the very top of it. So a couple of years later I'm now the Superintendent of Wing Inspections (I.G. Office) and no longer running the F-16 Integrated Avionics Branch. (That was just for you u/Action_Packed_Mental.). Nowadays I'm setting up and running Wing level disaster and preparedness exercises, investigating I.G. complaints, and best of all… rubbing elbows with all the higher ups in the Wing… like the Wing Commander, Base Commander, all the Squadron Commanders, etc..
Well… after leaving the U.K. in 1987 where I flew gliders on the weekends with an RAF Glider Club at an RAF base I was looking for another outdoorsy hobby. No gliders in the Miami area at that time but I did find a small sailboat on the base Lemon Lot. It was a 13ft AMF Force 5 (Example) that needed some TLC but was fixable. I bought it and turned it upside down on a couple of sawhorses under my quarter’s carport where I patched a hole and painted it and got it all “ship-shape” (Hahahahaha, I kill me). While doing this, I was reading a basic “How to sail” book as I'd never sailed anything before.
Once the boat was ready for the water I took it to the rectangular base lake, a couple of blocks up the street we lived on. The Base lake was maybe 200 yards long and 100 yards wide and there I worked each evening and weekend getting the basics down. Once I was confident I knew what I was doing it was off to Biscayne Bay. The daughter and I had loads of fun with it. It was small enough to rig and launch right off the beach within five or ten minutes of arrival.
After a year or so… boys being boys… I figured “I can sail this potato chip of a small sailboat… therefore I must need a bigger boat.” I found a Compac 16 (Example) again, on the base Lemon Lot, after a few weeks. So now… at my base quarters (the one with no plants or shrubs)... I had two sailboats on trailers. The larger Compac 16 under my carport and the smaller Force 5 (which I'm preparing to sell) sitting behind my house… not visible from the street.
Sooooo…. enter Mrs. S, the base housing officer I burned earlier with my obeying her order to trim my plants and shrubs. I get a notice, signed by her, ordering me to remove one of my sailboats from my base house because regulations say that only one trailered item (utility trailer, boat, camper, etc) can be “stored” at a base quarters at any given time and whenever it is there and “stored” (not being actively used) it must fit under the carport when parked and not out in the driveway.
Hmmmmm… I'm an E-8 in the I.G’s office with readily available access to all of the Wing and Base regulations. So, I start researching the base regulation referenced in her notification just to make sure Mrs. S has her shit together… always looking for a loophole to trap her in. I find it. Her base housing regulation does indeed talk about boats, trailers, campers that are kept at a resident’s home… but nowhere does it mention a maximum number you can “store” there. It only requires that any trailered item, stored at a base house, must fit under the carport. Being the industrious guy that I am… I manhandled my larger and heavier Compac 16 sailboat and maneuvered it to the far side of my carport… still fully under said carport. That left me just enough room to position my Force 5 sailboat, on its trailer, beside it and itself, fully under the carport. I did not reply to Mrs. S’s “ticket” as she said she would reinspect in a couple of days.
Well… a few days later there was her new “ticket” on my front door. A “ticket” for having two sailboats on trailers under my carport and ordering me to get rid of one of them. I did nothing, I said nothing. After at least two more “tickets” over the next week or three with demands and threats (which I never responded to) I got a call from the Base Commander, asking me to come next door and see him. By this time the two of us were quite familiar with each other, in a professional context, due to all the meeting we attended together, planning exercises, inspections and the like. I told him I'd be right there.
On my way over I swung by admin and picked up the Wing’s copy of the Base Housing regulation and once in the man’s office I explained the whole situation and showed him “his own” base housing regulation and the exact wording that I was complying with. It was all a good natured meeting and we both giggled about the Base Housing office’s penchant to be a little anal at times… especially concerning their longest serving civilian inspector, Mrs. S. He finally called the Base Housing office and talked to its director… with me right there in his office with him. He told him/her that he'd reviewed their complaint about SMSgt GeneHil’s sailboats and according to their own directives, SMSgt Genehil was in compliance by having both his sailboats fully under his carport when not actually being used or worked on. He told them that if they wanted to amend their own base housing rules, to do so through the appropriate channels but in the meantime, leave SMSgt GeneHil’s sailboats alone.
I decided to put off moving my Force 5 sailboat to the base Lemon Lot and try to sell it… just to irritate Mrs. S. It was another three or four months before I did so. Good times!!!
When I finally did retire and move out of base housing, Mrs. S was the inspector who showed up for a pre-inspection walk through of my quarters… I could tell she finally had me in a corner where she could exact her revenge. Hahahaha… I made sure I did my homework and contracted with a Base Housing approved cleaning contractor who had a 100% pass rate. My move out of base housing passed with flying colors.
Goodbye Mrs. S… it's been a hoot!
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