By Lee Toy
Vol. 5 No.2 – Mar. – Apr. 1982

“KITE FLYER’S” first official kite fly of the year will be held on March 21, 1982. In celebration of the first day of Spring (give or take a day) This is a fun fly to air out your winter kites and show off your new Spring colors. Participants are encouraged to wear WHITE. So get out the bleach, pack up a lunch and meet at the monument for a good time.


When Mix McGraw heard what was coming over the phone lines he thought he was dreaming, this must have been happening to someone else.

Several weeks ago Mix got a call from Don Smith of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) in Toronto, Canada. They had seen Mix on a viedo tape that showed him doing his thing with his “Rainbow Stunters” on the Marina Green, and according to Mix, Don had never seen stunt flying before and asked Mix if he would mind flying out to Toronto (all expenses paid) and giving him some lessons. It didn’t take Mix long to decide to accept and he’ll be headed for some Northeastern winds on March 20 to participate in a benefit picknick at the Toronto Civic Center on the 21st. BON VOYAGE MIX. Give em a SKY full!


Dave Checkley-san is off again on his ninth annual Kite Tour. This tour of a lifetime departs on April 30 and returns after two weeks in Japan, visiting kitemakers and kite festivals throughout the country. There may be a possibility of visiting the Peoples Republic of China as well. The Japan Tour is $2,293 with an additional expense if the tour is extended to China. For details contact: THE KITE FACTORY, 678 W. Prospect, Seattle, WA 98119 PH. (206)284-5350.
This is a great oppurtunity to meet some interesting folks as well as see the land from which your car may be from.


Although our local Sears does not carry plastic drop cloths in colors for making great kites, it does have “Emergency Orange” jumpsuits in Large. It was just the thing that George wanted to keep him warm on typically cool flying days.

And just the color that you can see from half a mile away.

It’s no wonder that the film crew from TBS(Tokyo Broadcasting System) couldn’t take their lens off of George while he was flying his kites. The interperter left a brochure with George that told about a program called “Children of the World” which introduces Japanese children to the customs and ways of foreign lands.

It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to see the expression of awe and wonderment when they show what a well dressed American kite flier wears on a chilly day in San Francisco. If you have trouble spotting George now you better take your eyes in for a tune up.


For most of us Bay Area residents, Treasure Island is just a turn off mid-span of the San Francisco- Oak-land Bay Bridge. This was the site of the 1939 World Exposition and is now a Naval Base, off limits to us Civilians, execept for civilians who happen to make and fly kites.

Last Saturday,Bay Area Biters were invited by Youth Director, Robert Gallitzen to help with a kite making class and kite flying demonstration. Mix McGraw, Michell DeMato, Carlos Marchiori, George and Marion Ham, Marie Henry, Danial Prentis (Shanti Spools and Kites), Raymond Lee and I were allowed on to the facility to “go fly a kite”. We were even announced on the sign board just past the inner guard, “KITE MAKING IS FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY”, SATURDAY, 6 MARCH,1500 – 1700, YOUTH CENTER BLDG. 215″. I guess you really can get used to military time. The flyer that was sent to prospective participants was labeled “Resident Customer Local, Quarters, YBI/Treasure Island”. I particu¬larly enjoyed the blurb “No experi¬ence or knowledge is necessary!”

We arrived about 1300 hours and flew a variety of kites in the athletic field adjacent to the Youth Center. Mix had a bunch of kids running after and dodging his “Rainbow Stunters”. Mr. Lee brought out “TUG 0-WAR” and “SWEET SIXTEEN”,two 16 disk centipedes with the phrase “May All Your Wishes Come True in 1982” strung out on his flying line. George had his giant Four Patch Parafoil out with 7-“spinning gum¬drops” hanging off his line. I had several kites up and attended by expert line handlers, Marie, Carlos and Michell. One was a George Peters “Mona Loa” bird kite which was greatly admired by many. An Eddy, a Nishi-delta, and a J-25 were some of the others from my collection.

The real fun began at 1500 hours at which time we brought down the kites and headed in for the kite class. About 30 children showed up for the workshop and that’s a lot of energy, if you could bottle and sell that you could make a million. Although I had planned on making two kites, a “Sled” and a “Tissue Delta” we only had time for the “Sled”. After demonstrat-ing how to construct the kite made from a garbage bag and match-stick bamboo then it was the kids’ turn.

Things went relatively well: “I need help…where’s the paper punch?.
can I have another stick?…. do you have a partner?…do you put the tails on this end…
where’s the string, I need some help..” George, Marion, Ray, Mix Michell and Dan were great assistants encouraging and helping these young kitemakers of the future. When it was all over, there were 27 kites in the air and lots of smiles, I think the biggest smiles were on the faces of the people who came out to help, knowing the joy of making something that flys…. and sharing it with others.


The Fabric Lady is the name to remember when buying kite making fabrics. This is a young enter-prise headed up by Bill and Mary Tyrrell. Basically it’s a mail order fabric outlet. Judging from the samples sent and a psyudo current price list “The Fabric Lady” is just what the doctor ordered. With prices ranging from $1.50 to $2.50 a yard for light weight spinnaker cloth this is a kitemaker’s dream. There is also an assortment of other goodies, such as a hot cutter, a tacker, binding tapes and thread all at good prices.

Although the official “Catalog” is not out as promised, you owe it to yourself to look into these people. (Bill Tyrrell is the one who wrote the “Mastering Nylon” article in KITE LINES).

Write: The Fabric Lady, 51 Layle Lane, Doylestown, PA 18901.


The next person that might ask you this may be a distant visitor from OKAYAMA Japan. Okayama is the sister city of San Jose, and in a recent correspondance with the San Jose Convention/visitors Bureau we may be looking forward to an International Kite Festival in San Jose in March of 1983.

Now these folks are thinking ahead: They have contacted AKA for help and possible interest in having the AKA Annual Convention here. If anyone in the San Jose area or South Bay are interested in helping in the planning of this festival and possible AKA Convention please contact: Gordon Levy , General Manager, San Jose Convention/ Visitors Bureau, San Jose Chamber of Commerce, One Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113, Phone: (408)998-7000.


“Simple Fabric Kites” is a new book written by Margaret Greger and illustrated by Joan Newcome. 44 pgs. soft-cover, $4.70 by mail.

Margaret presents 8 kite designs, six fabric kites and one in paper and one in mylar (variations of the fabric ones). The designs range from a simple “Hornbeam Sled”, a kite developed and named by Non-editor Guy Aydlett (PMAF) to the “Flowform” kite developed by Steve Sutton, a varient of the Dom Jalbert Parafoil, one of the most sophisti-cated kite design of recent times.

Margaret says in her introduction “This is not a beginning sewing manual” and that a basic working knowledge of using a sewing machine should be a prerequisite to using this book.

I have not had the time to test out any of the designs in this book but in looking thru the instructions and illustrations, I would venture to guess that a lot of time and effort has been spent in gathering information and putting in a logical order. If you are interested in creating some interesting fabric kites but lack the step by step directions, then this is the book for you.

You can purchase the book by mail for $4.70. Write: Margaret Greger 1425 Marshall Ave. Richland, WA 99352.


Dear Kite Flyer,

After reading about Takeshi Nishi-bayashi’s book “CREATE A KITE” in the Jan.- Feb. 1982 i-ssue of “Kite Flyer” I ordered a copy. It arrived today and I was very pleased with it. Iam sure I could learn more if I could understand Japanese, but the pictures ,plans, diagrams and notes in English convey a lot of infor¬mation. Thanks for giving your readers information about it.

Yours truly,
Charlie Sotich
Chicago, Illinois

ed. Thanks for your thoughts Charlie. Nishi is a great kite maker and even better teacher.

I hope that we can share some of the techniques that he has showed us during his past visits to the West Coast.

Many of the techniques are used with Japanese materials and must be translated into techniques using available U.S. equivalents. For instance, Nishi uses a very narrow double stick tape that is sold with a backing material, that is removed after the tape is in place.  I have not seen anything like that available in the U.S. The “Scotch” brand tape does not have a backing on it.

The spar materials that Nishi uses are generally Japanese Cypress, we can use Spruce, instead of bamboo you can substitute dowel. One ingredient in Nishi’s kite recipes calls for baby powder. He uses it to dust the double stick tape that overhangs the edge of a spar to prevent it from sticking to places it should not. Most of this infor¬mation is gathered from inspection of kites he has given us or from watchihg him make kites during the times he has visited with us.


This is a kite that was pictured in a 1980 issue of Nick Laurie’s “European Kiteflier”. It is a kite made by John Spendlove. The plan presented is a design that I developed from the photos in that issue. I have used TYVEK for the covering for it’s ease of construction. It does not fly at a really great angle, but is quite an unusual design that is guaranteed to turn some heads.

The dimensions given are finished. I turned a 1/4 inch hem on all out side edges of the vanes and cells. The 14 inch vanes were cut out in pairs with the spar casing allowance of 3/4 inch added to the middle.

Tyvek is a synthetic_ cloth that can be glued with white glue or and sewn with a sewing machine. This particular kite was made with a very soft textured, like cloth tyvek.

I would recommend a 3/4 oz. spinnaker cloth if you want to make a cloth TETRACAIDELTADECAHEDRAL.

Most of Nishi’s kites are made from High Density Polyethylene Plastic, something that is not that available yet. You may try using Mylar or tyvek for cover material or even lightweight spinnaker cloth. Much of kite making is like cooking, you can vary the ingredients as long as you follow most of the recipe. Bon Appetite.


The local channel 5 TV station has a program on kids with talent. When I called Geoffery Paris up to see if he and his father Roland could make it to the Treasure Island kite workshop, Roland informed me of Geoffery’s new Stardom. Super Kids is following Geoffery as he enters a model car building contest, builds and building constest, from the filling out of the entry forms to the buying and building of the model. I guess he’ll start wearing dark glasses to the Green so that he won’t be mobbed by autograph hounds. Good going Geoffery!!


MARCH 21 – “This is the month to do it – so we’re told”
MAY 2 – “Because we like the weather better.”
JUNE 20 – FATHER’S DAY KITE FESTIVAL This one’s a bigg-E.
AUGUST 15 – “If we’re still here.”

Kite Flyer’s flight pad is located at the San Francisco Marina Green. We are usually gathered near the monument at the mid-length of the Green. Contests and prizes for the Kite Festivals on June 20 and October 3 will be announced at a later date.

All other flys are informal and unstructured although surprizes do happen. Hope to see you on the Green in ’82.

By way of standard reference–KITE FLYER NEWS is available six times a year (weather permitting) at the minimal cost of a trip to Doggie Diner–$5.00 a shot. Send all money, trading stamps or gold bars to 1883 Grand View Drive, Oakland, CA 94618.