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Page 30
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 2
lars, and planted sprigs over every inch of his
68,050 square feet of runway. Days of tend-
ing his fragile runway turned into weeks and
months, and each time he visited he found
less grass and more clay crust. The few re-
maining patches of green grass died the fol-
lowing summer.
After months of fussing, Ray gave up on
his precious turf and hauled in a mountain
of gravel, which depleted his savings by four
thousand dollars. He spread the composite
mix in uneven layers until he had a runway
smooth enough for takeoffs and landings.
A House Made of Poles
Exact dates are hard to verify, but some-
time in early 1966 Ray and Mary were ready
to build a flight shack and control room. As
the idea for the structure took shape, the form
grew taller and narrower. What might be per-
fect, Ray reasoned, was a control room high
off the ground on the top floor, a bedroom and
bathroom below, and a kitchen, bathroom,
and flight shack on the ground floor. Ray
wasn't a builder and he certainly wasn't an ar-
chitect. He was an experimenter, a seasoned
1966. Ray Harding and friends on Bird's Nest Airport property, building the original house/flight office made of
telephone poles and attached aircraft shop hangar. Photo courtesy of Dave Mandot.