October 5, 2005
28th Annual AKA Convention

AKA is always an intense time for the Gombergs.

Small problems are handled by individual volunteers; larger problems go to project coordinators; which means only the big problems are brought to the president. Add to that Susie being in charge of registration, and me doing the Annual Business Meeting, the Auction, the Sport Kite Symposium, and the Award Banquet. So things get a bit crazy. Oh yes, and we also do the FlyMarket for three days.

We don't even bring kites to fly! But Friday morning I woke to discover that some friends had 'tweaked' the readerboard in front of the KiteLoft overnight. That put a smile on my face!

AKA Convention

The AKA convention is the best gathering of kite friends on the annual calendar. Four hundred of them come together for contests, workshops, mass ascensions, parties and fun. It is a week of kiting that can't be beat!

This was AKA 28th annual gathering, held for the third time in Ocean City, Maryland. The weather graced us and the problems were fairly minimal. After all, second choice for the location had been GulfPort Mississippi....

Here's a few examples of kites that were in the sky during a wonderful week of kiting

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The basic schedule is workshops in the morning, a mass ascension at mid-day, and competitions in the afternoon. At night we held meeting and banquets.

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On Thursday, AKA began a new tradition. We brought dozens of all-white kites onto the field and flew them to memorialize friends who had been lost in the past year. The "Angels Fly" was a poignant moment inspired by Sue Sedgewick and her love of the White Ghost kite.

AKA Convention

Saturday night, the program began with a performance by Lee and Debbie Park. The Parks are not only wonderful indoor fliers, but also great show people and good friends. When a sound problem delayed the start of the program, Lee suggested I show everyone how I learned to lift Debbie onto my shoulders.

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The final Award Banquet recognizes both competition results and greater contributions. The Edeiken Award for lifetime kiting achievement went to Pete Dolphin. The Toy Award for kite art was presented to Randy Tom. Volunteers, Clubs, and Regional Directors of the year were announced. But the highlight for me was seeing Susan presented the Ingraham Award for lifetime contribution to the AKA. That's the Association's second highest award!

Watch her face here as she slowly begins to realize that the presenters are talking about her.

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We flew home Sunday, still filled with the excitement and joy of a very full AKA week. When the adrenalin wore off, we discovered we were exhausted. But there was not time to rest. Orders had backed-up, major deliveries were in the warehouse, and there were emails and phone messages demanding an response. We're just now beginning to catch-up -- which explains this late Update.

In two days, we'll be on the beach again for the Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival. But we'll still be basking in the warm glow of Ocean City. Great to see so many of you there!!

DC Sale! It is pronounced Delta Co-neen after the inventor, Silas Conyne. Of course, everyone says it wrong. But if you call and pronounce it correctly, we'll give you five kites for $100! That's a $150 value!!

DC's are really great stackers. Just pass the flying line through the open center and tie it to the next kite's bridle point at ten foot intervals.

Drop us a note and say you want the Co-neen Deal. We'll send you an assortment. Good until October 15.

DC Sale

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