2012 AKA Grand Nationals – Day 5

[box type=”alert” style=”rounded” border=”full”]EDITOR’S NOTE #2: One more apology due – Amy Doran was also confirmed as re-elected Region 9 Director… I think we’re up to speed now, thanks for your patience – sorry to all![/box]

Up and at ’em! Another fairly early morning, this time to meet up with Rob from the Enid Convention and Visitor Bureau for a radio interview with KOFM 103.1 here in town where I spoke of the AKA, our convention and the amazing time we’ve had here – if the weather holds, we’re hoping to see a fair amount of public turn up, but we’ll make the best of it one way or another.

Having dropped TK off at the convention center to take photos of the workshops beforehand, I came back and took a quick peek around and pick her up… Phil Broder was presenting India: Land of the Fighter Kites, Meg Albers covered Kiting in Education, Park Fleming and Cat Gabrel joined forces to share how to Make a Hishi Kite, David Gomberg talked All About Big Kites, Mike Mosman led the Kitemakers Competition – What Next? workshop, and attendees continued to wheel and deal in the Fly Mart.

After making sure we had everything covered indoors, we jumped in the rental care and hightailed it over to the field in time for my last workshop of the week titled How to Fly Quad Line Kites… There were 15 or so folks who braved the very chilly (but not frosty) conditions to learn, I did my best to compress what we usually do over a 2 or 3 day iQuad Rev Clinic into 2 hours, and then we went on to Fun With Four Lines where we played impromptu Rev games using four orange traffic cones to form landing zones for one challenge, and two cones for a “knock down” challenge, both made up on the fly and prizes were awarded to the top two finishers in both (thanks to Ben Dantonio and Revolution for donating “Rev Bucks” for the winners, Kitelife also donated two subscriptions) – then we just scattered around the field to practice and play individually, we covered lots of material and these folks were voracious for info (which I really enjoyed as an instructor).

There was also open flying all day, a sport kite mass ascension, At Gallery in the Sky, Keystone Kiters’ Mystery Kite Fly, and the Old Kite Fly – 30 years and older… It was a pretty relaxed day (schedule-wise) compared to the days previous but while it wasn’t painfully cold and things actually warmed up a little around midday, it looked like a some folks elected to stay indoors – not sure where though, because I was out flying with those crazy Rev fliers!

Finishing my last kite tune up, we packed it in around 5:30pm and went straight back to the convention just in time for the cocktail (cash) bar opening and a brief look around the awesome bag raffle before making our way into the banquet room for the AKA’s annual Great Kite Auction… Dinner was quite good, buffet style with salad, rolls, roasted potatoes, meat sauce penne pasta, herb encrusted fish and very tender beef followed by chocolate cake or pecan pie – all really yummy, and everyone at our table seemed to agree.

What some of you may or may not know is that the annual auction is one of the biggest (and most important) fundraising efforts, generating a significant portion of the organization’s necessary operating costs – particularly invaluable at a time when the AKA is working hard to rebuild and discover/provide added value for the membership.

Next year our annual convention will be held in Seaside (OR), and if you have any kites or other items that may be of interest to fliers which are collecting dust but are worth having, please consider donating it to a good cause – the largest supporting agency for kiting in North America… You can send them in during the weeks preceding the event, or better yet – come and deliver them in person as an attendee and member!

Of all the places AKA has held this convention in the past 35 conventions, Seaside is the most selected venue (held there in ’90, ’93, ’04, ’10 and ’12), while Ocean City MD (’78, ’02, ’05) and Wildwood NJ (’94, ’97, ’11) are tied for the second most popular… There’s a good buzz here in Enid, and I expect 2013 will give us one heck of an enjoyable AKAGNs – folks are getting creative, looking to the fun factor and seem ready for their second wind.

With one more day to go, TK and I snuck out of the auction around 9:45pm but one highlight before we did was Scott Skinner borrowing the microphone from master auctioneer David Gomberg to speak about the Star Farker… It was ceremonially destroyed by a collective of well known fliers at a festival earlier this year (dean jordan and I were both present), essentially as a symbol of new directions and hopes for a bright future – something like the lightness of cutting off long hair, but Scott didn’t leave the AKA hanging – instead, he brought the Son of Star Farker, a cool little unfinished Rokkaku skin (no spars, no hems) made by dean himself with the AKA logo and a graphic providing homage to the original.

His accompanying letter:

Red headed Step Son of Star Farker

Greetings from Florida and welcome to another great AKA convention. When Scott told me what he was going to do I felt many emotions.

None of them were that I was sorry to see the Star Farker gone.

One thing that bothered me though, was the possibility of losing the tradition that has sprung up around this mysterious, strange apparition called the Star Farker.

Richard Dermer has chronicled its history, so if you’d like to know more, please ask him.

At any rate, this tradition which has raised more money for the AKA than any other auctioned item in the history of the AKA was in peril of being taken away.

Though getting rid of the original Star Farker is not a bad thing and I told Scott so.


What if we keep that event going, through something which is more portable, and that we wouldn’t be ashamed of hanging on our wall?


It’s not complete, just like it’s ancestor. It needs help, just like the organization itself.

This year may mark a turning point for our great little club, and I hope that is true. If so, I’d like to be one to say that with our new president, I will be at the next convention, with more and bigger.

You see, I want to support and help bring back our great organization on the principals it was founded on. One of which for me was always the FUN.

Thank you as always for allowing me to speak through my good friend Scott Skinner. I hope to see you all during the year on a kite field doing what we love.

Please support the AKA and help the Red Headed Step Son of Star Farker bring back the fun!!!!

Scott opened the bidding himself ($50) to send the kite home with ME as the new president elect, with a challenge issued for me to continue the Farker tradition by finishing it in my own way and donating it to next years auction as a continuation of the original Farker spirit, only a little different… While I was drying my eyes (I love these people), bidders got into it by raising the bid and trying to send it back home with Scott or someone else, but with a closing bid of $115 (I think), looks like I may be taking it home after all (fine by me – we just picked up a Pfaff 1222 and I’d love to give it a shot) – I’m anxious to find out for sure.

For those who are interested, I’ll try and get an actual tally for the total auction proceeds and include it in tomorrow’s (final) update along with our usual reporting, photos and final results from the competitions.

All the best – see you tomorrow for our final day!

John Barresi