July 22
East Coast Road Trip

Summer has finally arrived and just in time, too! Susie and I headed East this week for stops in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Newport, RI< for festivals and shows and a bit of fun on the beach.

The nice thing about kite flying is that you can always find people to help hold the line -- especially when you are with your wife!

Beach Fliers

We left Portland on the midnight "red-eye" Monday night and landed in Myrtle Beach at noon. Our plan was two intensive days there and then a Friday commute to Rhode Island for the annual festival. Rest was not on the agenda.

Police Welcome

Our job in South Carolina was to scout possible AKA convention locations, and to help promote Kligs Kites. We spent the morning on the fields behind the store, the afternoons on the beach, and the evenings doing a night fly.

Marty and Grumpy of WACKOS (Wings Across Carolina Kite and Okra Society) came to fly with us the first day and Bob Hawkins dropped in the second.

No sooner had we popped a big one up on the beach and the police pulled up. No worries -- they were just checking things out and even lent a hand pulling big pieces down when the winds came up. I think they were more interested in the girls than the kites...

We managed to make the front of the paper and local TV news, visited parks, convention facilities, and hotels, and then ate sushi until one in the morning. All-in-all it was a successful trip. By Friday, we had to drag ourselves out of bed for the flight to Rhode Island.

Newport is a remarkable festival. It boasts a breathtaking venue and a full slate of events -- sport kite competition, fighters and roks, kitemaking, training fields -- all on one of the most colorful and compact show fields in the country.

BTW - I was asked to announce the rok fight but ended up entering two of the four heats. I was lucky enough to prevail anyway and inched out some really good fliers by just one point. I think they were just being polite.

Festival Field

Unlike some events that focus on home-made designs, Newport usually features the very best of commercial kites and line laundry. They fly a lot of pieces and a large variety.

Roks and Gibians Jose Sainz Rotating Cellular Fridolin Anders

At center field, we launched a stack of inflatables. The Big Cat was on top, then the Giant Penguin, and then a Mid-Cat just off the ground. It was intended to be a color-coordinated piece of flying humor -- one chasing after the other.

Trio of Inflatables Cat's Paw Double Pilot

To help keep everything flying well, for the first time, we used two Pilots. One was on the top, holding the larger Cat, and the other was down the line, helping loft the smaller Cat.

Pete Dolphin also brought out his famous, 150 foot Rainbow Arch. After a bit of help with the launch, Pete took both handles and flew a complete loop. I don't think anyone on the field had seen that maneuver before and the public had no idea how impressive the feat was. The Grand Champion New Zealand Star by Jose Sainz flew right overhead to complete the show.

Rainbow and Star Cat's Paw Double Pilot

Newport concluded with a lobster banquet and auction. Then Susie and I left bright and early for the airport and the flight home.

Field Buggy

We've been racking up travel miles this month -- one day home between Westport and Myrtle Beach - three days home between Newport and Berkeley - and then two days home before we leave for Quincy. All that running around means a good chance to see friends and meet new ones. But it also means late hours in the office to keep product going out in response to your many orders. Thanks for your patience with us.

Just remember that we're checking email and phone messages several times a day. Enjoy your summer! And save us a spot on the flying field....

Silk Dragon Sale!!

Direct from China and very, very cool! We've got this 60 foot long Dragon kite, hand painted silk on a bamboo frame. Prices include a permanent storage box, line and winder.

The normal price is $370 but we're running a ten day sale -- $300 even. Quantities are limited!!

GKPI Stuff

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