Clifton A. Buske was born on September 14, 1927 on the family ranch north of Lisco, Nebraska. A friend, Marvin Stevensen purchased a Curtis Robin, which he stored on the Buske ranch. Eleven year old, Clifton, became fascinated with flying, and got to ride with Stevensen every weekend. He was always buying airplane models, putting them together and flying them. After the war, Stevensen started a flight school with army surplus trainers. Buske talked his father into buying a Piper J3 Cub so that he and his sister could learn to fly. A hangar was built on the Buske ranch that would hold five small planes.
After graduation from high school, Buske’s parents insisted that he have two more years of school. So he agreed to go to the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a year. There he received his mechanics rating. Upon returning home, Buske flew his dad, who was county commissioner, to check the roads in his district. He also flew for some of the neighboring ranches twice a week to check their summer ranges for water.
In 1967, Buske was appointed to the Airport Zoning Board and in 1970 to the Garden County Airport Authority. Under his leadership the Authority was able to construct the main hangar/office and an eight unit t-hangar. Buske was also responsible for the addition of 1000’ to the existing runway making it 4700’ X 50’. In 2005, a parallel taxiway to runway 12 was built. In 2006, a credit card fueling system was installed. Prior to that, Buske or one of the other board members would have to make the fifteen mile trip to the airport to provide fuel for aircraft.
Buske maintained the Garden County Airport facilities with his own labor. He hosted Nebraska Department of Aeronautics and FAA meetings at the airport, which he felt was very important to thank officials for the projects.
Several other projects are planned for the airport over the next few years. After their completion, Buske plans to retire with 40 years of service to the community and airport.
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