Influences From My Youth

While I was a buding teen, our family moved to a small West Indian island called Dominica.  It is here I recall making kites of palm fronds ribs (dried in the sun) and any bits of tissue paper we could scrounge or relieve from Mothers stash. There are photos of our house with the weathered and tattered bits of these creations hanging on the low voltage power lines where they had entangled. 
As I now know, there are kites that are indigenous to the Caribbean islands peoples.  I must try and return to try my hand at making one of those someday!  And also to go back to “my island” to visit.
I will share a little music video so you can see for yourself the influence this place had on who I am and why I can just “GO FLY A KITE”

https://www.facebook.com/diane.j.majors/posts/10213029425835705

Breezy Day Celebration of a New Mom

Yesterday was the first time I have been to the beach in a while.  We were there to have a “diaper party” for my soon to arrive granddaughter number five!  Seems that boys are rare in my gene pool!…..  We had not made this a kite function, however, my daughter being from my gene pool did in fact have a kite ready to deploy!  Mostly we chased seagulls off the grill before they stole ALL the weenies.  And visited with family and friends of course.    

I want to share a piece I came across which is in honor of all the Mothers today, I think it says it all.

MOMS……

As we celebrate Moms today, I have friends who ache because they have desired a child but have never given birth, I have friends who have had miscarriages, I have friends who have never married but would love to be married and have a family…the list goes one. But each of those friends are contributing to a young person’s life, as a mentor, a foster parent, an aunt, a stepmom…I saw this recently and loved it. I share it with each of you today as I know today could be a really difficult day for you. Each of you are in my heart ❤️ and my prayers today!
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
-Copied from a letter written by a guest contributor

Winter Freeze Turns to Spring Fling

This is my first post since November, winter freeze out!!  Actually a run in with an injury, infection, severe series of antibiotics, near miss of loosing my foot, and way to much time spent in four walls [hospitals, rehab facility] to be pleasant.   I recall one day it was in high fifties out, sun shining, and I wheel chaired out to the patio, let the warmth of the sun and breeze on my face wishing like heck I had a kite.   The nursing staff looked at me like a deranged person when I had to explain why I was sitting outside, I said “wishing I had a kite to fly”!!

The release from therapy to sit home and stare at the branches being swayed by the wind was not much of a respite from the institutional walls to this “sun-worshipping wind junkie”!!  I had been in contact with a winter Texan staying on Mustang Island since our fall fun fly at Roberts Point and  he stopped up in town to see me.  We ventured out to my much neglected sewing workplace with his new [used] sewing machine in tow,  James wanting to learn how to make kites and related items.   This was a good thing, as I needed transport to the shop and various errands, he was eager to trade rides for time learning the basics of working with nylon materials.

James had the desire to make a spinsock to go with his big red/white/blue  power lifter.  He did very well on his first project and then  found a “dancing dude  windsock” online.  We proceed to modify this piece to act as a line laundry item. Completed just in time for the kite event at Malaquite Beach  at the National Seashore we went for the day and had a great time displaying our wares.  The “Patriot Sam” was a huge success as well as my “Cletus the Crawfish” and other kites.   What a joy to spend a day on the beach, flying kites, visiting with my “kite family” even though I was confined to a specifically built wheelchair just for the beach sand [sat in one place all day].  As you can see there were hundreds of kites!!

Spring had arrived, I was revived in spirit, and we were enthused about making more stringy things, spending several days a week in the sewing room.  James dug thru many boxes and totes of scrap materials,  piecing together bits in wonderful combinations and patterns,  he has made a red/white/ blue bol, and two more bols of different color combos, and inspired me  to make one for myself!!  This Broncos colors bol was entirely of small pieces, he has a good eye for putting things together  and making a great piece!

IMG_20170317_122941

 

We did have  to take a break one day and just haul stuff to the park, sit and fly kites for a few hours.  I think the spring fever has set in.

This past week end was a scheduled club Fun Fly and Corpus Christi member,  James Cooley, hosted the fly at Cole Park.  We had several members join in the fun and also some new folks who came out to see what its all about.  One fellow, Andrew, had expressed an interest in kite flying online in our group page, but had never owned a kite.   He stopped by where I was flying from and we struck up a conversation.  He ended up with a kite from my bag that was a “starter” kite I bought because it had a pirate theme and a map of the Caribbean Islands on the tail.   We have an enthusiast folks, and he lives only steps from Cole Park, lucky guy!!

 

Andy Tee and me

 

As you can see, its Spring in Texas, already mid eighties, and shorts are the prescribed dress until November comes around again!!!

Come on  out and fly at kite with us!!!

The Great Ones Are Passing On

It seems that the kiting community has seen lots of great folks pass on, leaving those “empty spaces” in the skies.

I am sure that other areas have had those ones they all knew and loved, but our region has experienced two that I knew,  and then today I saw that a name synonymous with sport kites, Peter Powell has gone on to the afterlife. . There is a video link on the Coastal Bend Skypirates Facebook page that I asked Gary Mark to post (he put it on Kiteflyers 2.0).

Also missing in our area is Guy Blatnik who passed over a year ago.  He was very active in South Padre Island, flew in competitive teams as well as AKA,  was Region 8 rep, owned the kiteshop on the Island and Crystal Kites.  Guy was a real pal.  He is missed.

Also a noteworthy name in our Region was Richard Dermer of Stillwater, OK.  Very much the “ambassador” for kiting throughout the area.  He and Marti had kites for kids kits and plans, did tons of things with AKA,   and Richard even got “on board” with building a reflective Mylar kite as a prank for the Coastal Bend (never carried out), but that’s a private story……

Not many knew of “John” here in Rockport who had a kiteshop downtown,  but I heard of his passing this past year as well. He had closed and retired many years already.

What is my “take away” from this ….. Go fly a kite with your fellow kiters as often as possible,  we are not on this earth forever.  Get to know one another….swap kite stuff, spin yarns, tell stories.  “make hay while the sun is hot”.

Peace and love to all.

What a Blast !!!

This article is in response to a post by John Mitchell on the group “ Revolution Kite History”. Rarely do I fly a dual line kite. I will be putting a link on the group timeline. This is part of my “history” with Revolution kites.

I had been exposed to dual line kites for some time when the occasion came to attend the Zilker kite festival in Austin, TX. While cruising the field and watching numerous demos being flown I saw two guys flying these really strange “bowtie” shaped kites and they had FOUR LINES!! They were doing these amazing spins, dives,, and then stopping in mid dive and just “hanging” there!! Unheard of in any kite flying I had seen thus far. Well, those two guys were none other than Tye Harrison of Austin and Troy Gunn of Wichita Falls, TX. I walked over to Tye and humbly asked to interrupt him a minute, asking how? Where? And how much? Next paycheck I was the proud owner of a brand new Revolution EXP!! Well, that was it!!

As many Rev kiters know, it becomes a bit of an addiction and my “bag” grew over the months to follow. John was looking for more content about “speed” and Power” Revs so let’s skip forward a bit. My tastes in kiting had graduated to buggy and ATB riding so when the Blast was presented by Revolution I burned up the phone line to Lolly in California and received one of the first to go out. I received it just in time for my annual trek to Dead Bird Buggy Bash on Galveston over the Thanksgiving season. What a great tool for the ATB [all terrain boards] and I demonstrated the Blast as Joe had asked me to. Later in the spring I took the still relatively new Blast to Zilker to again show it off to the kite community and the public. We had formed an impromptu quad line flying team as the festival and called it “Quadzilla”. The morning of the festival was very cold, and winds were gusty, rough, and quite strong. As they say, the show must go on, so undaunted I set up the Blast and began to fly it about getting the feel of the wind before mounting my ATB for some demo runs. About the third pass through the center of the “window” there was a very loud “crack” sound like a pistol shot and I watched in horror as my favorite new Rev fluttered to the ground in front of almost 10 thousand spectators!! The leading edge spar was in several pieces, totally decimated. I, of course, was done for the day at this point. Next day I call out to Poway, Ca and speak to Joe about the failure of the new kite. He then asked me what conditions were like and I replied, “a bit gusty, about 27 at ground level”, at which Joe exclaimed, “Well geez Dano, the high end rating is about 15 on that kite!” 

But I am a member of the Coastal Bend Skypirates, live on the Gulf where a late afternoon breeze is usually 20ish, it was just another day playing with kites to me.

Joe was kind enough to send me a replacement leading edge kit for my Blast, and I have been very conscious of wind conditions heretofore when playing with my Blast. Most of my fellow kite club members who have flown the Blast still think I’m nuts!! But once a power kiter…..yeah!!

Sunset Fun Fly

The Texas summer sun can be brutal, so the Coastal Bend Skypirates tend to be slack about monthly fun flys. This month it was decided to go late  in the day and avoid a little of the heat.

We had a small group of brave souls including some regular members and new folks just awakening to the pleasures of kiting. One little newcomer wasn’t yet 3 yrs old!! But boy did he enjoy his first kite!

Tom had just acquired this power sled and line laundry at the anniversary party/sale at Fly It Port A kite shop and was eager to try it out.  It flew rock solid all evening. 

This sweet little girl was reluctant to have her new bird kite ground staked and stayed on the field for a couple hours holding the line winder. 

We were joined by visitors/tourists who brought their kids and kites, even a couple that had married the day before!!

Next month will again be hot, but we will find a cool evening breeze somewhere in our region to air out our “toys” and share a good time with each other. 

Find our group on Facebook @Coastal Bend Skypirates. and request to join the group.  All fly’s, events, items of interest and just “stuff” about kites, will be posted on our page.