November 30
Quiet Thanksgiving

I always enjoy Thanksgiving. It is one of the holidays that focuses on our commonalities and stresses the positive. I have a wonderful marriage, dear friends, a successful business, and a myriad of adventures. I enjoy a charmed life and I'm grateful every day.

Let me give you a small example.

After our return from South Africa in September, I mentioned the efforts of our kite friends at the Cape Mental Health Association to secure a bus to bring children for treatment to their facility at the Kyalisha Township. I talked about kids living in tar-paper shacks with dirt floors who, despite their mental disabilities, we're left alone all day by single parents forced to seek work.

Our group had been touched by the plight of these kids, and also by the joy our kite visit brought them. So I used the web page to ask for money, knowing it was an obscure cause on the far side of the planet. I had no idea what the response would be.

Kyalisha Kyalisha Kyalisha

At their year end meeting this month, the CHM directors will be presented with a check for $1000 from the kite fliers of America. It will only buy a small part of the bus. But it makes a very large statement from all of us.

I want to publicly thank Mike Agner, Harold and Elizabeth Ames, Mike Baker, Michael Briggs, Allen Carter, John Chilese, Mark Clear, Elizabeth Curry, Paul Fieber, Jim Fielder, Susan and Grumpy Gwyn, George Holland, Ed Jensen, John Jones, Thomas Lowther, Jim Pat Kat and James Martin, Vaino Raun, Richard Rumbin, Chikako Sakane, and Darryl and Mandy Waters. Your generosity and caring has made a very great impression on me. And it isn't too late to add new names to this list.

Austin Award

Here is another thing we are thankful for this season. It is certainly less meaningful than the bus project, but still made us feel pretty good.

Two weeks ago, Susan and I were invited to a banquet in Portland hosted by the Austin Family Business Program of Oregon State University. There we were named one of the top three "micro size" family businesses in Oregon for 2004.

The selections are based on creativity, community service, and solid business practices. Not bad for a couple of kite fliers from Neotsu!!

So now you may be asking yourself -- that's all well and good, but what do *we* have to be thankful for??

Check the Factory Outlet lately?? I've just added in a whole bunch of holiday discounts and year-end clearance deals. I sold the first two planes within an hour of posting them. But if you really want a plane and missed the sale, I'll honor the price through this Friday.

And just for Update readers, we have a few extra specials.

  • 45 foot Gecko - red and black - was $1400 - now $1150
  • 20 foot Cat - Black and white - was $1400 - now $1150
  • 15 foot Blue Meanie - blue - was $1100 - now $900

As most of you know, I'm taking Susie away for her annual Surprise Birthday trip next week. Our destination isn't as exotic as last year. Not as warm either. But it should still be fun!!

The office will be closed from the 5th to the 10th. I'll be checking mail daily and we'll make sure all orders arrive before the holidays. But if you want something, please call us sooner than later.

What's that old joke -- that as you age, the first two things to go are your memory and... I can't remember what the other was....

Somewhere out there, someone asked me to get some fabric to repair their Crown. I remembered to get the fabric and have it here now. But I've seached all my phone notes, emails, and files. Can't remember who it was and can't find any record of the request.

You know who you are!! Call me!!!

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