Harding, a former public school teacher and
airplane enthusiast, had a dream to build a
general aviation airport from the ground up.
After more than forty years, Ray's story isn't
easy to reconstruct with complete accuracy.
What I know from personal interviews and
news stories is that Ray wanted to put his fif-
teen years' science teaching career at Reilly
them is the now-faded Bird's Nest Airport entrance sign. Photo courtesy of David Hannah III.
Texas pasture into a feisty general aviation
airport that catered to flyers and gliders and
jumpers and balloonists. He wanted an en-
vironment that welcomed experimental air-
plane builders like himself. And he wanted
the whole thing to be affordable so that any-
one with a yearning to learn to fly, and a little
time, could experience the exhilaration and
beauty of aviation.