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Wilton Man Killed In Plane Crash Fondly Remembered By His Neighbor

Wilton resident David Hartley was killed in airplane crash this weekend. His neighbor John Pereira submitted this remembrance.

The Hartley's moved next door several years ago. They bought the Victorian style two story that had been vacant for months. The property was a bit run down and the house needed some remodeling, but they were up to the task.

Dave, Pam and their two girls Alicia and Michelle were new to country living so it seemed like it was going to take some getting used to. A bit of "Green Acres" I suppose.

I was always looking for an excuse to use my tractor so offered to help spruce up their new place. Dave hadn't bought a tractor yet, so it was always my way of inciting envy by offering to pull out those unsightly half dead trees.

Over the years we had an unspoken competition about how we kept our yards. I have to admit, although I had the head start, I think the rookie now veteran Dave may have one upped me in the end. I met my match with Pam in terms of the verbal sarcastic sparring we'd engage in. Often times our subtle digs and jabs were only understood by people like us who spoke that language. The girls grew up over night, one in college and one in high school.

My, how time flies.

Over the years we often talked about building a gate between the two properties so we wouldn't have to walk around to each other' s front gate to visit. Some how it never happened.

Dave was one of the guys that you couldn't help but like. He was an avid pilot and treated me to a Piper Cub plane ride a few years ago. We flew at a low elevation over the Consumnes River. What a great trip. I got to retry my hands at the seemingly toy plane's control stick.

We got a phone call this morning. Dave was killed in a plane crash yesterday. The world is different today. I really wish we had built the gate.........we had always talked about it.

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