about buying the Zschiesche property, and
designing and building an airport that worked
equally well if: (a) I bought the adjacent prop-
erty, or (b) I didn't. That said, I called Frank
and told him the runway heading 13-31 was
fine. "But what do you say we move the whole
thing off the Zschiesche property?"
"There's no telling. I need to move ahead
additional land allowed me to build a longer
runway and the section that horseshoed its
way around the airport to the west allowed me
to locate the terminal and hangar buildings
about three thousand feet closer to SH130 and
save me the cost of building a lengthier road.
be tight. My guess is we'll have to go shorter."
"Give me a couple of days and I'll have a
close we upset the flow of surface water into
and out of the duck pond, of which the United
States Army Corps of Engineers would take
370 acres, in 1949 for $54 per acre. The odd-
shaped parcel was mostly flatland and a few
shallow creeks, not so different from the
farmstead they'd left in Bartlett, Texas, about
an hour north. Raymond Zschiesche was
thirty-nine years old with a wife and three
children (Jimmy Ray, fourteen, Louis
cine Priscilla Zschiesche) when the family
resettled in Manor.
cotton and a winter-season legume cover and
later maize and corn. He died in 1968, only
three years after Ray and Mary Harding had
bought the adjacent land-locked property and
begun grading the clay soil into a runway.
bors. As a teen, little Francine recalled affable
Ray Harding putting the finishing touches to
one of his self-built airplanes, and no sooner
than the last piece of whatnot was screwed
in place, Ray convinced her daddy to crawl
aboard and take a look at the family farm from
a few thousand feet off the ground.
and a steady voice, he cajoled anyone with-
in earshot to give in to the freedom of flight.
"Live a little," he'd say. "What could it hurt?"