Resident Stories: Steve Miller
We met Ed and Petra Kratzer back in 1998. At the time, Ed flew the left seat on the 747-400 jets for United, flying to Hong Kong and Germany. Petra was a flight attendant for Northwest. The Kratzer's living in Hidden Lake, invited us to come down for a week of vacation. We jumped at that opportunity to abandon the cold winter in New York for a week. Ed met us at Tampa International. I thought we were driving. To my surprise, we went to another area within the airport where Ed had his Piper Seneca parked on the tarmac. We flew back to Hidden Lake and taxied down Cessna Drive to his house. I had never heard of a flying community before. Throughout the whole week, anytime I heard a plane taxiing down Cessna Drive, I had to stop what I was doing and watch it. Total amazement was putting it mildly. I was hooked. The day we were flying back to New York, I told Ed to keep his ears open for any homes in the community that went up for sale. Well, a week later, a house on Skymaster Drive came up for sale and I flew back down the following weekend. We closed on the house a month later! But, that wasn't to work out for us, since I couldn't leave my business in New York, and I didn't want the house to sit empty. So, regrettably, we sold it.
In 2007, we decided it was time to leave New York, permanently. We came down to look at houses in Hidden Lake again. Unfortunately, it was the height of the housing market and prices were way out of our reach. We settled on Dallas, TX for 5 years. All the time, I kept a watch on the prices of housing in the area. I looked at a few in the gated side of Hidden Lake, but felt they were still overpriced and all needing serious updating. My goal was to own a plane one day, so a hangar or the ability to build a hangar was a must. So, I needed to stay on the East side of the runway.
I had been in touch with an older woman that wanted to sell her house, by owner. It was, like all the others, overpriced and seriously outdated. But, I kept in touch with her over the years, as she kept lowering her price. Nobody was buying, so I sat and waited. When I saw a couple of houses finally sell, I knew it was time to seriously consider what I wanted to do. She wanted to sell and was motivated. So, we made an offer we were comfortable with, and she accepted. That was in 2012. Since then, we have done a total gut on the house, not salvaging anything. Today, I own an airplane, a 1977 Piper Archer II. Joe Matissek, of SC Signature Construction, also a resident of Hidden Lake, and a good friend of mine, is building our hangar.
Through Joe, and Ed, I have met a lot of the neighbors. I've realized my dream of owning a plane and learning to fly. But, Hidden Lake has caused me to surpass my wildest dreams, by allowing me to live with my airplane, almost under one roof. Anytime I want to fly, I need to just walk out the back door and into my hangar.
Life is good!
Barbara & Steve Miller