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Page 68
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 3
The Jump Center Buyout
The deal did not include the fifteen-year-
old Cessna 182, which Mike agreed to lease
to the Center until Clark had the cash to buy
it outright.
Mike made the offer at the end of a long
weekend of jumping. Two dozen skydivers
and a few wannabes stood around (some in-
side, some outside the tin building), the sun
still high in the sky--men mostly, bare-chest-
ed and wearing seventies short-shorts, tennis
shoes, and calf-high white socks with stripes.
Most were holding cans of Coors beer, the
cans sweating and the men doing some per-
spiring of their own. They were smiling and
giggling, chirpy like the males in their twen-
ties they were, tickled with themselves and
their invincibility and their place in the world
in ways they might never be again.
"It's a hell of an offer," Mike said.
Clark nodded, thinking. He loved the jump
center. He loved the atmosphere, the way the
place absorbed all kinds of personalities, the
way it made people feel welcome and strong
and (for those able to shrug off the willies and
keep jumping out of perfectly safe airplanes)
better about themselves. Or at least that's the
1980. Tom Schwartz (foreground), Todd Gieseke (middle), and Henry Stone (end of wing) plus a forth, Luis
Luciani (not shown) preparing for their 4-way "canopy relative work." Photo courtesy of Zach Ryall.