Tag Archives: Rick Husband Amarillo Int’l Airport

Jim Simms gets one more honor

The late Jim Simms now has his name on a public building.

It’s called the Jim Simms Municipal Building, named in his memory by the Amarillo City Council, which broke with tradition in honoring someone who gave so much of his time and energy to improving the city he loved.

The decision is prudent in another regard. Simms’s death the other day at age 73 means his legacy is now complete. There will be no chance of his messing it up with a big mistake.

Occasionally public entities make the mistake of honoring living individuals, only to have them embarrass themselves and the institution that honored them.

Universities are known to put themselves into that kind of bind on occasion. West Texas A&M University once honored T. Boone Pickens — who’s very much alive — by putting his name on a building at the College of Business, only to pull it down over a misunderstanding that involved a financial commitment Pickens had made to the university.

Amarillo’s building naming policy doesn’t allow for that kind of thing to happen.

As far as I know, the only other city-owned structure bearing an individual’s name is the international airport, which is known as Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport — named after the Amarillo native who commanded the shuttle Columbia on that tragic mission in early 2003. Husband and his six crewmates died when Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry.

I’m glad to see Simms’s memory honored in this manner.

He loved this city. Simms poured his soul into any project he undertook. The city has done right by honoring him in this fashion.


AMA grounds improved, however …

Here’s an update on the grounds at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

They’ve improved, but there’s still some work that needs doing out there.

I went to the airport today with a friend to check on his flight out of Amarillo tomorrow afternoon. We drove onto the parking lot and as I looked around I noticed two things:

* Most of the weeds I saw on my previous visit to AMA had been cut.

* The greenery around the parking garage still looked a tad ratty.

I’m having difficulty understanding why the city that runs the airport doesn’t do a better job of keeping the place well-groomed — to the point of immaculateness.

The airport quite often is the first thing visitors see when they come to Amarillo, or any city, for that matter. Business travelers come here for the day, perhaps to stay overnight and then they returned to their home.

What are they going to say about Amarillo if the airport where they touch down looks as though it violates city weed-height ordinances?

I blogged about this some months ago. A City Council member told me the state has some responsibility in keeping the airport appearance up to snuff. The state?


I believe now as I stated then: The airport is a city responsibility and that ought to include the appearance of the property surrounding it.

Hey, the city spent some serious money just a few years ago rebuilding its terminal. The structure looks quite attractive. It is modern, user-friendly, is bright and airy.

Let’s finish the job and get the grounds around the building looking as good.

If you don't like the weather …

“I cannot believe I’m getting cold.”

So said my wife just a little while ago as she plunged deeply into the back of her closet for her winter bathrobe. She had donned a lighter summer robe that had been moved to the front of her closet.

Why the change in wardrobe planning?

Well, those record highs the Texas Panhandle was experiencing a few days ago — when temps soared into the high 80s and low 90s — have now been overtaken by what’s forecast tonight as a possible record low.

We’re proud of the saying here on what I like to call the Texas Tundra: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 20 minutes, it’ll change.

OK, so the weather didn’t change in 20 minutes, but it surely has changed rather, um, dramatically just in the past few days.

Oh, have I mentioned that damn wind and the dirt it picks up as it roars in from almost any direction on our vast horizon?

The drought is projected to stay with us for a while. Some doom-and-gloomers think it will stay well past the foreseeable future. I have no clue as to when it will break. As of today, we’ve received a little more than an inch of rain all year recorded at the National Weather Service station at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. At this pace, we’ll finish the year with, oh, about 3 inches total.

The drastic change in temperature is quite another story. It’s approaching the middle of May, for crying out loud. Summer is just around the corner. The weather guys are calling for possible snow just a bit west of us in Union County, N.M.

Does any of this make you think of the issue that some folks seemingly refuse to accept as a reality? You know … climate change?

Bundle up, folks.