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Issue 9 (May/Jun 1999): Kites... Life.

column editor life kite month

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#1 Mike Gillard (RIP)

Mike Gillard (RIP)


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Posted 01 June 1999 - 04:00 AM

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Throughout my life, April has been a special month. As a child, April was the first month after the long Midwestern winter, the sun stayed up long enough after school to get into some serious fun with my pals. In the winter of 1970, I got my first car, a '65 Impala convertible, and that April was the first month I could do some top-down high stylin', cruising for babes, hormone pump set on stun.

April '78, I took Julie Tolson out for a day trip to a state park, based on our common love for the outdoors. That date worked, my friends. April '79, I proposed marriage, and we started our life partnership. April '83 and '86 saw us discovering that we were going to become parents of kids #1 and #2. See a pattern here?

Since 1993, I have been an avid team flier, with Captain Eddie'sbuyakitead1.gif (5203 bytes) Flying Circus. If there were an award for "sticktoitiveness", the Circus should be hands-down winners. We flew every weekend all winter (still do!), in awful cold winds, wearing 15 pounds of sweaty clothing to avoid death from hypothermia. Again, April comes to the rescue. We learn more about our possiblities in one practice, than we did all winter.

Why all this reminiscing about the powers of April?

In a stroke of brilliance, David Gomberg came up with the "National Kite Month" plan, then quickly rallied well-deserved support behind it. We have just finished the first NKM. I don't know if you are aware of the impact of this idea, but if you are in doubt, try the following. Go to any major search engine, type in "national kite month", and see the results. Suddenly, kiting appears on the national media's radar screens!

Also to be applauded is Jim Miller, for the outstanding job he did supporting the "grass roots" local events. Any of you who bothered to register your local flies know what I mean.... Jim sent out the press releases to your local papers and TV stations, which helped raise awareness of kiting, and your events. Those of you who didn't register an event, plan one for next year, NOW! This is too easy, and the payoff is too big, to ignore.

Over 150 new kite events were registered as a result of NKM. An untold number of people were exposed to our great sport solely as a result of this effort. If you personally played a part, my hat's off to you. If you didn't, start planning for next year!

On another topic, this issue marks the start of our second year of service to you. We have learned a lot over the preceding months, and we hope that the 'zine we are providing to you meets your needs. Thanks to you for reading, and thanks to the great staff that assists me in this venture. I also have to thank Cutting Edge Kite Shop, Avia Sport Composites, Blue Line, and World Wind Kites for making it possible for us to bring KiteLife.com to you. You folks are the best!

Note: We are working on our first-ever theme issue, dealing with Team Sportkiting.
Mike Gillard

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