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Page 80
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 3
per just below the sign. The notice was white
cardboard. He shoved the gearshift into park
and sat there and squinted and read (not a
warning or a threat at all, but a clearheaded
statement so lean it stopped his heart). He
rubbed his forehead with the tips of his fin-
gers, pushing hard just above the eyebrows
where there's a little ridge, and pressed un-
til he felt bone. The sign said that the Austin
Parachute Center was out of business.
He couldn't think. His brain had seized and
he was frozen motionless with shock. Jer-
ry Kahlbau's silver pickup was parked near
the flight office. Henry got out and crossed
the ramp. Inside, Jerry stood at the small
kitchen counter next to the coffee pot, a heavy
ceramic cup in his hand, looking out the
window at Henry's pickup.
"Is this for real?" Henry asked.
"Want some coffee? Give me a minute. It's
about ready."
"I go camping for one lousy weekend."
Jerry bent to the pot and inhaled. "I hope
you like it strong."
"Three years I've been jumping out here.
Just like that, it's gone."
"Black?" Jerry asked, not looking at him.
"There's no milk."
"Why didn't anyone call me? Someone could
have called. Why..." but he let the sentence
hang, not even sure what he wanted to ask.
1970-1974. Collage of skydivers.
Video courtesy of astronaut Fred W. Leslie.