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Author Topic: A Christmas Kite Tale  (Read 1642 times)
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DonB
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« on: December 24, 2010, 12:35 AM »


How my kiting experience began ... and continued.

It was a little before Christmas in 1989, I was doing my Christmas shopping in Seattle, looking for 'special' gifts for my family back in Cleveland, Ohio. My Dad, 76, had recently had a hip replacement and could no longer bowl, which was his 'active sport' outlet.  It was hard on him as he really enjoyed his bowling. I really wanted to get him something unique.

While wandering around checking out the shops in the Seattle Pioneer Square district near where I lived on Bainbridge Island, a kite in the window of Great Winds, a truly wonderful kite shop that unfortunately is no longer there, caught my eye. It was a tumbling star with a white center surrounded by 6 rainbow hued cells. Neither my Dad nor I flew kites, but I thought he might enjoy it and hoped it would help him get active again. I didn't bother to shop around any more and bought the kite right away along with line and a hand made hardwood winder.

When we gave out presents in Cleveland on Christmas Eve, I made sure my Dad got the winder first. All the family members found it intriguing but nobody could figure out exactly what it was. Later when my Dad opened the kite he was excited like a little kid in a toy store. It was a white Christmas that year, bitter cold with a moderate wind, and of course my Dad insisted we go out and fly the anyways. It was cold but great fun!









As the weather got better my Dad really got into flying the kite, so I decided to go back to Great Winds and get one of my own to have something else in common that we could talk about.  I went for a dual line kite, I don't remember what it was, maybe a Hawaiian Team kite, and started flying.

My Dad continued to delve into kiting, frequenting some of the kite shops in the Cleveland area. Back in Seattle and in the Bay Area where I worked I did the same, going to kite festivals, buying more kites. My Dad got into stunt kites too with a 3 stack of Trlby's.

Back in Washington I heard about the WSIKF, so I booked us a room for the week in a B&B near Long Beach and flew my Dad out. At the kite festival we were excited like little kids. The weather was great the winds were perfect, and my dad was chuffed when people came up to admire his shooting star (Apparently it was a somewhat desirable model).

After that, I kept buying kites and finally happened upon the Little Sister from Wolfe designs in France which fit me like a glove (in another post on this forum it's described as "slightly mental").  I spent a lot of my spare time flying. My Dad bought more kites and continued to fly too, one notable addition was a colourful long stack of small kites.

Several times in the following years my Dad came out for the WSIKF or other big kite events. We were just two rather old boys with their toys, playing, talking, hanging out.  I was really special to spend so much time together just having fun and talking about kites on the phone every week in the times between.

As the years went by eventually health problems made it difficult for my Dad to fly. We still talked about kites on the phone all the time and my intense involvement continued for quite a while.

Life got rather complicated for me in the late 90's, and I retired to a more simple life. My Dad's health deteriorated and he wasn't able to travel. Eventually I found some other interests and stopped flying. The kites didn't make it with me when I moved to Oz in early 2000.

Well it's Christmas again and there's a new JJF Excalibur on the way. I wasn't thinking about this Christmas and kite connection with my Dad when I began thinking about a new kite, I was just looking for a new toy. But now as Christmas approaches I can't help thinking about my Dad. For me kites are intimately tied up with countless loving moments we shared over the years.

My Dad passed away 6 years ago on the day I arrived here in Merimbula, NSW. For me this is an emotional but not sad story. The years we shared our passion for kites were priceless, I feel deeply blessed for the all the Joy that started with a Star in the sky that Christmas 21 years ago.

Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas and Good Winds!

db
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thief
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2010, 04:58 AM »

What a wonderful story! it is so great to hear stories of how kites bring families together even tighter than they were before!!!
Welcome back into flying....the feelings of flying have not changed! but the materials shapes and colors are a wee bit different!!!!
good winds

rob
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mikenchico
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2010, 07:42 AM »

Great Christmas story, thanks for sharing.

It's a hobby my whole family has shared with me, I recall as a kid every spring buying kites and having a family outing. One year we made some of my Dads own designs for a school event/contest, a bird & a butterfly, he ripped the sticks himself, and we tied and strung the frames and covered them with wrapping paper, classic Oriental construction (both flew & both won). I don't know where he learned it but there isn't really anything my Dad can't figure out how do and usually do just a little bit better. I'm the most active now but Dad still builds a wood and paper kite now & then, one sister has built one using my spinnaker & carbon and everybody in the family has their own. We all get together during the spring for a couple of picnics & kite days and of course Mom & Dad have joined us at WSIKF every year since 1990 only missing my first year in 1989.

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tempest
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2010, 12:05 PM »

My intro into stunt kiting all came in a similar way DonB, when after migrating to Canada , and being retired had a lot of time on my hands.
One boxing day my son took me to the hobby shop and bought me a stunt kite, the small ones that only made figures, and buzzed around very loudly .Then it all started to pick up as interest in stunt kiting got first priority.
We attended a kite festival and was amazed at what some guys were doing with kites.
 First, was Jon Trennepohl ,and he was doing some tip stands into coin tosses, and reverse coin toss ...... and i was flabbergasted, as i was only a few feet away from the kite. Then another master, Lam Hoac , and he flew both the dual liner and rev .......  it was awesome to see the tricks he was doing with the dual liner and the precision and gracefulness of the rev, all done to the beat and timing of music, as it was done at that time . Demonstration team flying was next ...... and it just left me in amazement.
I was hooked , and wondered if i will ever fly close to that standard.
At present , after a few years of flying i consider myself a novice to intermediate flyer as there is still a lot to learn and to perfect, but the enjoyment and fulfillment kiting gives me when i leave the flying field, just leaves me with a huge big smile of accomplishment , especially when i overcome a difficult trick.
Wishing everyone on the GWTW forum a   MERRY CHRISTMAS and smooth and gentle winds in the NEW YEAR.
                                                               Tempest.  Smiley
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art
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2010, 12:46 PM »

Your Christmas kite Tale and the responding posts all relate how some "fabric and sticks" can have a wonderful impact on our lives. Thanks to all, and have a great Christmas.


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DonB
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 11:46 AM »

Thanks everyone for your comments, and thank you to Mike and Tempest for sharing your stories!
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oyehut1955
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2010, 06:29 AM »

this is the kind of stuff that really touches home..  my father is gone now too but some of my favorite flying times were when he would just "happen" upon me while he was out beachcombing.. (or so he would say)  I knew he had come looking for me just so he could see what i was flying..  we spent some pretty special hours together on the beach with kites in hand.

I am so grateful that my kids and grabdkids share my love of kites..   it makes for such a wonderful day when we are all flying together.

I used to have a Little Sister..  what a great kite!
Thanks for sharing..  the story and the pictures..
many smiles to you..  debbie
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kiteking
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2010, 09:05 AM »

I used to have a Little Sister..  what a great kite!
Thanks for sharing.

I agree..


Model: LITTLE SISTER
Manufacturer : Wolfe Designs
Fabric Weight : 0 .75oz. ripstop nylon
Framing Materials : Carbon
Wind Range: 5-18 MPH
Configuration : Delta-type (90" wingspan)
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
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"Wind to your back, Kite in the sky."

MikeM
Brookings, OR  - KP 4-11

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#518  -    #110883 -

DonB
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 01:44 PM »

Thanks for the sweet story Debbie!

Nice to hear from other Little Syster flyers Debbie and Mike. Mine looked just like your's Mike, that pic brings back great memories.

Cheers,

Don
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TGunn
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 02:49 PM »

Great story, thanks for sharing!
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Troy Gunn

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