A kite maker for almost three decades , and like many others who have traveled this road it started by seeing kites on a beach, little did I know it would become an activity that took over my life.
Things seemed to fall into place, I found Kite Lines magazines, found a local kite club, found a kite parts store (The Kite Studio) also in my area.
In one of the magazines there was a neat kite called a “Crossdeck”. The kite shop had the parts, made the kite and brought it to a Show & Tell night at the local kite club. Folks at the club liked the kite and suggested going to the The Smithsonian Kite Festival and entering their competition. First thought was "No way!" but then thought it would be fun. I am glad I went as I came home with a prestigious Smithsonian Paul Garber Medallion! Never ever expected that! Next year I returned and received another Medallion. The hook was set and kite making expanded into a passion. Competition continued and I won many AKA kite making awards including The Grand Champion Award and Members Choice for one of my creations.
Most kiters in the beginning want to do it all and later on they settle in on what tickles their fancy. I enjoyed cellular constructed designs, probably because of my mechanical background. Graphics are not my strong suite. As time passed I attended many kite workshops, and festivals to hone my skills. Fellow kiters taught me so much I thought about teaching workshops myself and sharing what so many kiters taught me. I conducted workshops at Fort Worden a couple times, MKS a couple times, MAKR a couple times , many kite clubs,,,NYKE, LVKS, RAF , WHKF in the UK. It was quite rewarding to share! Also under my belt is 15 years of judging AKA kite making competition. Speaking about the AKA , I currently sit on 3 AKA committees.
Off in the background something that I didn’t realize was whispering to me, “Kids Kite Making”, I actually enjoyed kite making with kids at festivals more than flying my own kites , that’s true even today. I continue to do kite making at festivals , schools, libraries, scouts, camps.
Another thing happened several years ago, I was introduced to a children’s summer camp for children with cancer, the Ronald McDonald Charities , I conducted kite workshops at Camp . This opened up a huge new kite venue, I found other camps across the country for children with life threatening illnesses, also learned that children’s hospitals are a place for kite making, to date I’ve visited more than a dozen children’s hospitals across the country. Even made kites at a children’s camp in Ireland. Words can’t express the feeling knowing you’ve made a difference in the lives of children burdened with devastating health issues.
This put kite making for “me” on a back burner, I haven’t made a kite for myself in years, and almost every day I look at my kite room and say I should get back making adult stuff, I do produce children’s kite kits and market them on line, quincokites.com which keeps me hopping.
Being retired doesn’t mean you have lots of time. For some reason retirees always have a plate that overflows.
My new challenge is to find room on my plate to continue sharing the fun of kite making for all ages.