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Submnitted by Rick Johnson SCR-1339 SCS-292 (I was not actually there, just repeating second hand stories told later around the camp fire at Valley Mills.)

Gary Lewis built a DZ in Millican before Valley Mills. If I remember the story right Gary was one calculus course from an engineering degree from A&M and when they closed down the A&M skydiving club he moved just south of College Station to Millican. While clearing the runway, he had to remove a large oak tree so he used fertilizer, diesel fuel and a stick of dynamite. There was a rise in the runway and they lit the fuse and ran over the rise to shelter. Nothing happened for several minutes and someone decided to go check on it. Just as they got to the top of the rise, Boom! It was so powerful that the tree was completely pulverized and bits rained down for quite a while. 

The second story was after the DZ was in operation. As I mentioned, the runway had a rise in it. A neighbor who had always grazed cattle on the property kept cutting the fence so his cattle could continue to graze. After more than one aborted takeoff due to a cow on the runway, Gary got out of the cockpit and went into his trailer, came out with a rifle and shot the cow. They dragged it off the runway and continued jump operations. Well, some of the jumpers hated to see the cow go to waste so they butchered it. On the way back to Dallas two of the jumpers with some beef in the vehicle were pulled over by highway patrol for a traffic violation but the first thing they said was "we didn't shoot the cow". That started a chain of events and in the middle of the night Gary was awakened by a .45 in his ear with a Texas Ranger on the other end. It seems they are serious about cattle rustling in Texas. I can't remember the details of how it ended up but I know that Gary avoided jail and later moved his operation to Valley Mills. John Mincher may be able to clean these stories up since he and Gary were classmates and good friends. I'm sure John jumped at Millican but it was closed by the time I got into the sport.