By Lee Toy

Vol:2 No. 3 – Nov.-Dec. 1979

An alternative for alternative poeple is happening every weekend at the Marina Green in San Francisco. Create an alternative for yourself and loved ones by bringing your kites and paraphernalia and flying with the die-hards who are ever-present on the Green.


The Marina Greeners are in second (as opposed ‘to eleventh) heaven.

As welcome as the deluge of beauti-ful warm wind and clear skies, are the signs that the eternal construc¬tion of a huge storm drain around the Green is near completion. Since the thousands of joggers insist on “making their own space” a new $100,000.00 course sand surface running track has been installed around the Green. This is a happy event for the kitefliers be-cause it has re-directed the aggressions of the joggers to¬ward the dog owners, or “when the going gets weird the weird get going.”

Many new kite creations and vari¬ations have hit with the great flying weather. Sam Urner has been holding the line on several beautiful Hamamatsu kites. Lee Toy has been drawing crowds with his 34 unit tissue paper delta train, as per Jack Van Gilder inspiration;and a Nishibayashi variation in cloth, George Ham has sewn up two new parafoils, an exquisite 4-patch J-30 and an unique J-3 with ten cells and three rows of flares across. Roland and Jeffrey Paris colabor¬ated on a beautiful four foot Conyne and a Spinnaker cloth variation of the commercially made Firebird, Tom Henry’s claim to fame are two parafoils and a delta. He flys a J-70 that looks like the test pat-tern en a color TV and a light wind variation of the standard J-7.5. The lkfoot delta is unusual in that it is spared with 1/2″ hollow fiberglass and a handmade hollow carbon fiber cross-spar. Mix MacGraw walks the Green with the world’s flashiest kite bag.


This article was compiled from a report by Lynn 0 Conner and a phone conversation with Lee Braswell, AKA’s first lady.

As you read this article think about a rumor that next year the third annual AKA meeting “might” be in Seattle next October.

The second Annual AKA convention took place in Manassas, Virginia during the first week of October. 110 people attended, several from other countries.


Registration and a reception were held the first evening with a “show and tell” session devoted to kite failures. This kite catastrophe clinic was informational as well as fun as kite makers were able to learn from others mistakes.

Rainy Friday morning the business meeting was conducted by our president, Red Braswell with the main business being to elect officers and the Board of Directors. We should be very proud and happy to have Lee Toy as our northern California director and Gloria Lugo of Let’s Fly a Kite in Marina del Rey the southern Cal-ifornia director. Both people are enthusiastic and competent kitefliers.

That afternoon, a workshop on tieing bridles and knots was given by Pete Ianuzzi. There is a pamphlet available on this which will be sent to Lee Toy and distributed to Kiteflyer members in our next issue.

The kite auction was held that evening and raised over $2,700.00 for the AKA. We should thank all the donors and bidders for their generosity. One of the most beautiful kites sold was a huge Shironi kite from Japan. It was approximately 15 feet across, 21 feet long and beautifully hand painted and sold for $290.00.

Also auctioned was one of the most innovative kite accessories ever seen. Robert Katkowsky and Betsy Lewis from Sky Line Kite Shop in Detroit, Michigan donated a magnificently hand crafted wooden walking stick. The top of the cane unscrews and reveals a hollow space containing a wooden spool of kite line and a mylar sled kite. Both the spool and the kite were also delicately hand crafted by Robert and Betsy. It auctioned at $160.00 and was considere a bargin. Robert and Betsy will custon make these walking sticks for those of you who are “the kite flier who has everything”. Paul Walker of Kiteflyer News donated five kites to the auction. One of his Hewett flexibles (the floppy goose) was auctioned for $125.00.

Next morning with sun shining and wind blowing we were all out on the field at Bull Run to enjoy kite flying. Steve Ediken won 1st place for the most beautiful kite with his train of 12 dual control Japanese Nakasaki fighter kites. Ediken’s kites were chosen winner by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Garber.

England was well represented at this kite festival. Peter Waldron, creator of the Professor ,3aldorf’s Box Kite, was there to introduce his new Star Kite, which is another brilliant design. Peter Powell was present to demonstrate, with ease, his stunter kite. Also, two gentle-men from England brought forth a very intricate Tetra-hydra kite whichlitscinated the crowd.

Holland was represented by Gerard Vanderloo who runs a kite store in Amsterday and organizes several kite festivals yearly in Europe.

The kite fly was not open to the public which kept it quite small and created less confusion about who was at the end of each kite line. Flexifoils were flown on a train and nearly dragged each flier along with them. It was a pair of strong arms which could keep them in control. The flexifoils will soon be manufactured in Dallas, Texas instead of England.

After an exhausting day of kite flying, we gathered together for a dinner and a film brought by Dave Checkly from Seattly. The film was about making and flying the Hammamatsu Fighter Kites in Japan. It was an exciting and inspiring evening.


Margaret Greger sent down some beautiful slides of the kites constructed by the Shirone Kite Team at the Bon Marche Dept. Store for the “Orient Express” event held in Seattle last September. Tsutomu Hiroi, famous Japanese kite= flier, is the leader of the team. Although the winds were not strong enough to lift the kite during the actual kite event, they did come up and created a kite sight seen for the first time in the United States. Sam and Nancy Urner were present for the festival and had a great time.


With winter in the wings and fall hoping for recall, you should begin getting it together on what materials you will need for the great kites to be constructed before spring. Also, if you or your group is planning spring kite flys or kite building sessions, now is the time to make the arrangements for getting it on the appropriate calendar. Ar¬range for the volunteers (more than needed) now, before they are pinned down by all the other groups. The KITE FLYER NEWS has a few connections which may be of help to you in finding some of those materials which are not readily available in hobby or craft stores and fabric centers. The fol¬lowing list of materials will be sent to you via UPS or Parcel Post, which¬ever is more convenient and less ex¬pensive. We ask that you pay for the materials in advance and add $2.00 for postage and handling.

Spinnaker Cloth–Primary Colors—Run-ning yard.
1.5 oz., 41″ wide, $2.15/yd., No Pur¬ple. 1.23 oz,, 41″ wide, $2.55/yd., No Purple. 0.75 oz., 41″ wide, $2.65/ yd., Purple Included. 0.50 oz., 38″ wide, $2.40/yd., Red, White, Blue only 1.25 oz. Dynac, 41″ wide, 32.95/yd., Zig Zag Stitch only–White. 2.0 oz. Dynac, 41″ wide, $2.85/yd., Zig Zag Stitch only–White. 5.5 oz., Dacron ribbon, 5″ wide, 31.00/yd., Use for

500, — 500 lb. test flying line, 100% solid braid dacron $27.50. For Mega Kites; Solid fiberglass rods are available, ask for prices.

What was it that at tender age
Impelled me to pre-empt a page
Of newsprint from a late edition,
Present my parent a petition,
5 To show me how to cross the sticks,
To notch the ends, and then to fix
The cover, then to tie the strings,
The bridle, tail, and fastenings?
Did spirit spurn the clod and stone
10 And fret its cage of flesh and bone?
Or was I seeking adulation
Achieved in sleepy levitation?
Or those of Freudian school might rather
Claim a drive like fear of father.
15 Or was the quest oblivion,
As Icarus striving toward the sun?
No matter what the cause or call,
I rolled some twine into a ball
And lifting up my frail creation
20 Proceeded with some trepidation
To hie to field o’er stem and stubble,
Reel the line out on the double,
Then pul and run with main and might.
And lo! It rose in glorious flights
25 Sweet rapture when the heart doth sing
In harmony to humming string;
Responding to the tug and pull
To perne in gyre with snowy gull,
Then scale the heights into the sun;
30 Make nature, mind, and body one.
And thus an early aspiration
Became a permanent fixation.
So down the shearing streams of time
In temperate, chill, or tropic clime,
35 The humor holds; and should I mark
A beach or hill, a field or park,
I pause to scan the flags and trees
To fix the force and course of breeze;
And should conditions feel but fair
40 You’ll spy a flying object there.
Should my pursuit provoke a twit
From some untutored vocal wit,
I’ll claim my kick has no more kinks
Than chipping balls across a links;
45 Nor does it any way besmear
Our much abused terrestrial sphere;
Pollute the air, infest the sea,
Or broadcast harsh cacophony.

More oft’ a little child will linger
Pointing with a pudgy finger.
50 A curious lad may ask me why
It hangs so still or soars so high.
Alas some lass may stay her stride
To stand a moment by my side.
55 One cannot build nor buy nor lease
So sure a conversation piece.
A man kneels near a coral reef;
He frames a pliant breadfruit
leaf With fronds of palm so deftly put;
60 His twine he twists from coconut.
An angling gear is his design,
Which could lead pundits to opine: “The primal moves in aviation Were made as aids to occupation.”
65 Top hallowed hill in old Cathy
A holy man observes the sway
Of silken foil. He notes the tail;
It bodes if crops will grow or fail.
The hummer speaks of sires of yore
70 And prophesies for peace or war;
And so flight annals from the East
Report the presence of the priest.
“But Han Hsin’s hummers”, saith the seer,
“Were flown to foster doubt and fear”.
75 Conyne’s and Hargrave’s new designs
Intrigued the military minds.
The Wright’s invention, in its turn,
Is made to main and kill and burn,
And thus a beauty swells the van
80 Of inhumanities to man
A beauty soiled is beauty still,
So leave me on an open hill
Where I can ply my archaism
And practice gentle pantheism.
There to watch my craft ephemeral
Aspiring on a lofting thermal.
Then with fair and faithful Caurus
I’ll join the brotherhood in chorus:
Hail Hinze and Mel and Val and Grauell
SO Praise Hargrave, Eddy, Baden-Powell,
Conyne, Scott, and let us hallow Franklin, Jalbert, and Rogallo, Brummit, Ingraham,
Bell and Jue, Baldwin, Wrights and Bigge too, Moulton, Pelham, Brown and Lee!
God bless our snug fraternity!

Notes on the text (in case somebody doesn’t know nothin’ from kites)
11. I have an earthbound audience when I fly in my dreams. 16. The poetic death wish?
26. Gary Hinze estimates wind velocity from the pitch of the hum. He checked it out with a violin and a wind guage.
28. William Butler Yeats had birds and other beings perne in gyre (fly in a spiraling motion). My three sticker wouldn’t perne but the ones I make now do during thermal lifts.
32. Though contagious it is usually benign.
33. The jet streams, of course, which are called shear winds, whatever that means.
38. The Beauforte Wind Scale utilizes flags,trees,etc to measure wind velocity.
40. Kites are often mistaken for UFO’s. If the observer doesn’t know a kite from a Jaybird, the definition applies. Continued on Page Six

po7ot..0(71A S – N°M5 CONT.
42. “Aren’t you a bit old for kites?”
44. I take my exercise sitting down,honestly. I don’t have to hire an electric cart.
61. Wayne Baldwin wrote of such a kite in KITE LINES, Fall ’77 69. Most honorable ancestors.
74. General Han Hsin frightened away an opposing army with hummer equipped kites flown at night, According to legend .
75. I first knew the Conyne as the French War Kite.
84. Refer to line 30.
87. “Caurus” – Latin for N.W. wind which blows faithfully in the Santa Clara Valley.
88. “Brotherhood” AKA,BFKA, and other faithful, both affiliated and freelance.
95. Kiters past and present. This is not meant as a Hall of Fame. Names were chosen for rhyme, meter, assonance, and alliteration.
96. Ladies will please forgive the last male chauvinist pig. “Soroity” also rhymes and may be substituted. ERA could cause wide spread dismay in poetic circles. If the list seems excessively male, leave us not forget Murgatoid Franklin, the first to fly a kite standing on her head on a floatin surfboard in Santa Cruz , Ca. on Feb. 29,1973. She was three years old at the time.

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 861 Clara Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94303.