2009 AKA Convention: Day 5

We appeared to have a larger number of particiants in our morning workshops today, likey due to the influx of fliers who showed up yesterday (late arrivals) and due to the wide appeal of today’s offerings… “Yellow, Red & Blue; OH! And Violet” by John Pollock in which he demonstrated painting techniques on fabric, color use, balance in both symmetrical and non-symmetrical designs, and philosophy… “Kites as Art” by Deb Lenzen, exploring originality, subject, composition, design and concept… “Kite Aerial Photography and the Search for Amelia Earhart” by David Wheeler, “Kitemaking Competition Do’s & Don’ts” by Deb Lenzen and “Prairie Bird Glider (make and take)” by Paul Fieber.

Sport kite competition finished up, including Masters Team Ballet in which Chicago Fire and Air Zone duked it out, vying for invitations to next years World Championships which will be held in Berck sur Mer, France.

Fighter kites and the comprehensive kitemaking events also came to a close today, with all fliers in attendance enoying a brisk but dry and very comfortable day with good winds in the 3-10 mph range.

The Great AKA Kite Auction was led by veteran auctioneer David Gomberg who provided a seemingly never ending supply of funny quips and historical footnotes all of which lent to the overall show… Although there were dozens of excellent donations this year, some of the ones that stuck out in my mind were a beautiful, uncut, painted ripstop sheet by John Pollock that went for $700, uncut/unsewn for use as anything… An original Lee Toy design (went for $450), an all white Rev SLE that was actually sewn by Ben D’Antonio himself (went for $200), and of course, who could forget the ever-present Star Farker which went home with Bernard Fourniere for a whopping 100 Swiss Frances (had to be there for full effect of this particular detail).

With a couple of tough years behind us, the AKA came into Rochester with low attendance and looking to break even… Between the bag raffle and auction proceeds, the AKA needed to pull in roughly $16,000 and managed to reach that goal thanks to the generous participation of our loyal attendees this year.

One new addition, the AKA actually acepted bids real-time via Skype (internet telephony) for the first time ever… “Attendees” not only from other parts of the USA, but internationally as well, as many as a dozen extra people getting in on the action at one point… Online bidding was conveyed by Sherri Pigeon and Gary Engvall throughout the auction, raising over $3,000 through online bidders.

Preceding the auction, attendees were treated to an excellent slide show thanks to the work of Mike Mosman… I’ve done that job (in 2003), it can be thankless at times, but it sure lends to the atmosphere during our banquet functions at AKA, so be sure and thank Mike when you see him.

Last but not least for the day – our remaining TBA sport kite results, preceding the actual top three beakdowns which I will try to include in my next and final update…

As some of you picked up from my forum and Facebook posts, it would appear my Macbook has somehow picked up a virus from the hotel wifi and is giving me serious issues… Todays update was done under duress, rife with lagging, screen freezes and software hiccups… I will do everything in my power to deliver Saturday update on a reasonable schedule, but it will all depend on how forgiving my lap top is tonight.

See y’all later, cross your fingers…

John Barresi