aimless conversations with anyone willing to
listen about the pipeline problem. In short,
we went down a lot of roads to nowhere.
progress was nagging at me. Design and con-
struction of the new runway would take more
than a year, probably much longer by the
pace of things, and my biggest challenge in
the meantime was the old runway; it was very
unsafe for airport operations. The pride of air-
port ownership was quickly being eclipsed by
frustration over a dysfunctional runway.
the airport's progress. The best way to do
that was to buy an airplane. So I went out like
any Sunday shopper and bought a shiny new
Cessna Caravan, a hulking single-engine tur-
boprop, one of the most dependable airplanes
on the market. My plan was that I would take
off in my new Caravan from the Houston
Executive Airport, about 25 miles from my
home, in the morning and fly over to Bird's
Nest Airport once a week or so and back to
Houston in time for dinner. This would turn
a five-hour round trip by car into a one-hour
Photo courtesy of Ron W. Henriksen.