Go Fly A Kite.

While I was walking through a local park I saw a couple of people trying to fly a kite. It was a pretty cool looking kite—octagonal, I think, and bright red. So basically a paper stop sign, but with long red streamers. I stopped for a couple of minutes to watch but they never could get it aloft, probably because there wasn’t enough room to run. The park’s walking trail goes around  a golf course and there’s only a narrow strip of open grass for non-golfers and that’s where the couple was trying to fly their kite. Maybe it’s just as well they didn’t get it up in the air. Chances are it would come down in the middle of the golf course, maybe on the head of some angry golfer.

When I was in fifth grade my class did a special project on kites in March. And by “special project” I mean if we brought kites to school we’d be given a special time to fly them on the playground. I’m not sure why this was different from any other year—March can always get pretty windy, but I think our teacher was very conscious of how much we’d been kept inside that winter and thought kites would be a good way to get us to go outside and really run around. That’s why any kid who didn’t have a kite was also allowed to go too and assist. My parents also thought it would be fun and took me out to buy a kite. Before we left I went through my saved allowance and found two dollars, which I figured would be enough for a kite, and I was right. My parents were looking at some elaborate and more expensive kites but I found one I liked that was just two dollars. My parents thought this was funny–they thought I was being cheap and were offering to buy one of the slightly more expensive kites, but it was a point of pride to me to buy my own kite. I also really liked the cheap one. It was black with red and yellow eyes—rather disturbing, really, but I’d just seen Godzilla vs. Hedorah and I liked that it looked a bit like the smog monster.

It also had fifty-foot long streamers which, at the time, seemed impossibly long, but on the playground with a friend helping me I got Hedorah high up into the air.

It was a lot of fun and has me thinking about how it would be fun to get a kite now. The hard part is finding a place to fly one where it won’t run the risk of descending on the head of an angry golfer, but on the bright side there are a lot of kites that aren’t much more expensive than they were when I was a kid, and anyway I have more than two dollars.

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  1. Allison

    I remember flying some fun kites at the beach, Plenty of wind, few golfers, no trees. Happy memories. I could probably launch one at our family cabin. Hmm…

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hope you give it a try. I’m seriously thinking about looking for a kite at one of the stores around here. The trick is just finding a place where I have enough room to run to get it up in the air.


    This was a lot of fun, Chris, and priceless.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s a great relief it was worth more than two dollars.


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