old rusting cars slumbered under the sun-
shade next to the abandoned Austin Para-
chute Center building. The real runway (not
the $70k smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom turf run-
way, but the other one) was so chunked up it
wasn't safe for an afternoon stroll, the flight
office hadn't been painted in decades, and
an onerous oil and gas pipeline was lurking
somewhere under my runway. The pipeline
issue had to be addressed and my guess was
that it wouldn't be cheap.
sense once upon a time, but the homes now
appeared to be dropped from the sky. One
was partially sunk into the soft earth; another
had had a chunk of wall and part of the roof
torn off or blown away in a storm.
vast amounts of airport management experi-
ence. One of his first tasks was to make the
trailers go away. Jim, the clever negotiator
that he is, convinced a hunter that the trail-
ers would make a great makeshift cabin for
a hunting camp. The price was right--free--
Photo courtesy of David Hannah III.