By Lee Toy
Vol. 7 No. 1- Jan. -Feb. 1984


In an unprecedented move the Kite Flyers for a Better Bay Area met for the first time December 10 at the residence of Leland Toy in San Francisco. The clandestine group assembled for a delicious pot-luck supper, followed by an interesting show of slides concerning kites and other flying objects. After waking up, the group held an informal meeting in hopes of organizing a chapter of the AKA in the Bay Area.

Un-officially the group’s name will be: Bay Area Kite Enthusists, or B.A.K.E.
and will cater to kite flyers of all per-suasions, god knows we have all types in these parts. Although goals and objectives have not yet been fully realized we are hoping to evolve into THE PREMIER kite “club” in the USA if not the Universe.

That is of course we survive the Jell-o mold slipped into an otherwise edible supper fare. The “suspect” jell-o has been traced to none other than CAROLINA Carbohy-drate HENRY. If you thought pink jello mixed with raw avocados and shredded carrot looks bad, wait until you taste it.

Our first official president will be none other than the Mayor of the Green: George Ham. Carolina Carbohydrate Hake & Henry is our VICE President and Leland Toy is the Secretary-Correspondant. Present for this momentous occasion were: Tom & Carol Henry, Roland, Geoffery and Gwendolyn Paris, John Kammer, Jack Froelich, Chuck & Jim Broyles, Barbara Jung, Michael and Cherie McFadden,

Neil Thorburn and I. George and Marion Ham were not present due to a previous booking of George Ham at the local ROCK GROUP (the SF Gem and Mineral Society) where he played Old St. Nick for the evening. We will be affiliating with AKA as soon as I can find a stamp and an envelope.

BAKE’s first official meeting for 1984 will be held on Saturday MARCH 3rd, so mark your calendars. From 1pm to 5 pm there will be a kite fly with Awards and Prizes for un-known catagories. At Sixish we will meet at Tom and Carol Henry’s for a pot luck supper and slide show/meeting. If you have any ‘slides of past or present flights of fancy bring them along to show the others (or else we’ll have to see Carol’s latest vacation shots of her Greyhound Bus trip to Iowa City, Iowa). We would like some informal discussion as to the direction members of BAKE would like to go, if you have any ideas, bring them.

Contact Carol Henry: (415)431-8711 or George Ham (415)552-0863 to find out what to bring for supper. Carol’s address is: 2403 15th St., San Francisco see map.
B.A.K.E. will be using KITE FLYER as its official communique for the present.


KITE FLYER has been operating at a loss for as long as it’s been published but hopeful¬ly 1984 will bring about some necessary revenue to justify continued production. Subscription rates will be increased to $8.00/year for 6 issues starting in March of 1984. Current faithful subscribers may extent their subscriptions at the old rate ($5.00/year) until March 1985 if renewals are sent in before March of 1984.


Neil Thorburn, author of popular kite poetry as well as maker of award winning kites, has finally unveiled his new book SUPER KITES II, the sequel to his earlier pamplet entitled “Super Kites”. “SK II” offers 18 kite designs of Neil’s imagina¬tion or observations including such delica¬cies as an UN-CORNER KITE and the SANDWICH

SLED DELTA combination. Neil’s home fried approach to kite making is a joy to read and explore. Illustrations, diagrams and photos are clear and concise as a summers day in San Francisco, he has even included several colored plates that take Neil’s book to an even higher plateau. This book doesn’t lack character.
5K II took several years in the making, each page of text was hand lettered by Neil with the help of a lettering guide. Neil doesn’t have a typewriter and besides they can’t spell or justify margins (actu-ally now they can if you can afford one, I can’t .and neither can Neil, at least at the present). Beyond the obvious concern for the mechanicals and superb kite designs, Neil’s witty and sometimes poignant kiter’s philosophy is sprinkled throughout.

Whether he is discussing the finer points of plastic trash bags or musing about Mr. Dick a fictional kite flyer in DAVID COP-PERFIELD Neil’s life long love of kites is clearly evident.

I would recommend this book to anyone in-terested in making some unique kites from simple materials or for those interested in taking a glimse of Neil’s outlook on life. Either way you’ll end up a winner. SUPER KITES II is available directly from the author, who will autograph copies if desired, $7.95 postpaid in the USA and Canada, $8.25 US money order for overseas. Write: Neil Thorburn, 4738 Elmhurst Drive, San Jose, CA 95129.

  A Handsome winged box by Art Grossi, st Vanier Park , VancouvertB.C. Sept. ’82.

Gary Woodcock & his tyvek Suruga kite. Toronto, Canada. Oct. 82.
Jean Sciarappa, Dom Jalbert and the Snail in Boca Raton Florida. Dec. ’82

Grant Madill and the Snail in Farmland,IN Oct.’83


HERCULINE4„, is a braided Kevlar flying line developed by the RAINBOW KITE CO. for the flying of two line control kites. Kevlar is a synthetic fiber developed by DuPont. It has been used in making bullet proof vests, racing sails and now flying line. According to the literature, it is 21/2 times lighter, 1/2 the size, twice as strong with less than 1/3 the stretch of equivalent braided dacron, perfect for stunt kites.

From personal experience I can vouch for all of the above, it’s incredible stuff. Most stunt kites on the market today are sold with twisted or braided nylon line
which is really terrible to fly with. The Rainbow Stunt Kites are sold with braided dacron which is quite a bit better than the nylon but once you try Kevlar you’ll never want to use anything else. It really is the most responsive line on the market.

If you can not find Herculine in your kite shop, you can order it from the Rainbow Kite Co., 221 Hampton Drive, Venice, CA 90291. I think the 100# test line runs about $15.00 which inclucdes handles and a special “NO-KNOT-NEEDLE” for making eye splices in the line. See Pete Hoover’s letter in this issue for further discussion on the “No-Knot-System”.


Award winning kite designer, Leland Toy is proud to announce the opening of his design studio: SKY HIGH KITES AND BANNERS. He’ll be featuring a line of handcrafted works for the kite enthusiast as well as the collector. Leland has been designing kites since 1974, and welcomes custom orders. Transform your dreams into a flight of fancy. Call or write for a free catalog. SKY HIGH KITES AND BANNERS, 1044 Sanchez St., San Francisco CA 94114 Ph. (415) 647-7774 See Insert Ad


Mid-October 1983….When we last left the wandering kite flyer he in Albuquerque NM with fellow HONDA-KICHI, Grant Madill. Grant, you recall had joined in the journey from Columbus OH to New Mexico. After a few days rest in Albuquerque he got itchy wheels and wanted to get back on the road. I,on the other hand,with more time than money,wanted to travel further south,so we parted ways as Grant continued west and I south to visit the Great Great Grand-
daddy of AKA, Bob Ingraham who with wife Hazel live in Silver City.

Silver City is nestled high in the tail end of the Rocky Mountains in the southwestern corner of New Mexico. The winding road that led me off the interstate took me thru some of the most gorgeous “biking” terrain since leaving the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia. The road lazily climbs thru forested mountains and steep hills carpeted with bright yellow flowers, whose scent was so powerful that I could smell them as I road along.

Bob and Hazel with their two children moved from NY state in the late 40’s, following Bob’s parents who had moved earlier for health reasons. Bob tackled a number of jobs including: work on the local newspaper, radio announcer, driving a dry cleaning delivery truck and eventual¬ly owning a stationary store which he has since sold out of and has retired.

Aug.’82, Leland Toy visits the WKA flight 1 pad at Gas Works Park. L to R; John Dusen-berry, Jack Van Gilder, L. Toy, Louise Crowley, Harold Writer.

Twenty years ago Bob and Hazel started the NAKA or National American Kitefliers Assoc. W-75 a mimeographed newsletter. Each page took a full minute to reproduce on anti¬quated equipment set up on the kitchen table. Hazel related how the entire house was flooded with stacks of printed pages waiting for collating and stapling when publication time rolled around. After a while Bob started usingurealltprinters and KITE TALES became a full fledged magazine.

In 1978 Bob sold KITE TALES to Valerie Govig,who changed the title to KITE LINES. The current AKA was given it’s independance by Valerie and has since developed into its own organization with over 900 members world wide. Memberships are still avail¬able…no waiting…$15.00 per year, see enclosed order form.

Silver City started out as an old mining town and is still heavily oriented in that direction. The Kennicott Co. has a quarry over a mile wide and some 18 miles in length. Mining activities support over half of the local population in one way or another. But times are changing, I visited several of the “company” housing tracks that have been abandonded and look like ghost towns, only with houses from the 50’s rather than the turn of the century.

Although Silver City was the home base for the AKA, Bob and Hazel are perhaps the only enthusists in a 75 mile radius. Occasional¬ly a visitor will pass thru to pay homage to the city air strip where Bob first started flying kites, but Silver City is not exactly “On your way” to anywhere unless it’s your final destination, such as I had made it.

Bob is no longer connected to the magazine in anyway but he is producing the 10th Anni¬versary Delta, a great light wind flyer. Each kite is finely crafted by “the old man himself” in the garage/workshop that he shares with his cat and his BUICK (it is a Buick, isn’t it?). One of Tom Henry’s Heart Kites hangs on the wall along with a NISHI portrait kite. A collection of minia-ture Japanese kites are also displayed, gifts from admiring fans. Lately Bob has been doing double duties as the domestic caretaker as well as manufacturer since Hazel has been slowly recovering from a knee operation that has her confined to a walker and a wheelchair. We hope that her recovery is coming along.

One of the most memorable features of Silver City that I will never forget is the pink stuccoed church that sits quietly kitty corner from the Ingrahams. Quietly that is until they decide to call their flock at some un-godly hour in the morning with a racket that could give a Union Square Ghet¬to Buster (aka “BOOM BOXES”or Suitcase Stereos)a real run for his money. Bob has promised himself that some day he’ll sneak in and sever the wires to the loud speakers that blare out the worst alarm gong I have had the opportunity to be awaken by. Al-though Bob and Hazel warned me about the early morning disturbance, they say that they have become quite used to it, somewhat like living near a railroad track, I would say more like Cape Canaveral.

Execept for that minor detail, I had a great time exploring the “OLD” main steet of town collecting bits and pieces of local history from Bob and the locals we encountered while wandering about. Before taking my leave we took a short trip north of town to the Gila National Forest. The rugged forested canyon are still fresh in my mind, and I hope to return some day to soak in their radiant beauty with more time.

With rain threatening the evening forecasts and not wanting to wear out my welcome, I packed up the Snail for an early start the next morning for one last stop in Arizona before heading home….to be cont.

If you are interested in purchasing one of Bob’s Tenth Anniversary Deltas you can contact him: Bob Ingraham,
315 N. Bayard St., Silver City, NM 88061


Chinese New Year is February 2, 1984. Ac-cording to the Lunar Calendar we will be starting a new 12 year cycle. This year is the “YEAR OF THE RAT” 4682. If you were born during the day in the year of the RAT you are destined for a life of leisure. If you were born in the evening, you are bound to a life of hard work,for the rat sleeps during the day and forages at nite.

If you are wondering what sign you were born under- come to the Marina Green and look for Raymond Lee who made a kite based on a perpetual Lunar Calendar. We hope that we can have the kite for inspection at the up-comming B.A.K.E. meeting on March 3rd. (Ray, this is a HINT)

If you happen to be in Chinatown on Febru¬ary 18 you might want to take in the Chi¬nese New Year Parade in the evening, lots of noise, people, fire crackers and a 100 man DRAGON (Signals the end of the parade) well worth the traffic jam to see.


Pete Hoover, San Marino, CA. ……..
Re. Dec. 10, I’ll be out of the country on that day – maybe flying kites in the Pacif¬ic trade winds, but thinking of you-all anyway.
Someday I hope to fly a kite or two at the Marina Green – I just took delivery of a George Peter’s Pterodactyl! 16′ wingspan-the thing kiddie’s nightmares are made of. Haven’t flown it yet, but will when I get a chance….There is a new flying field here in the Los Angeles area- Shoreline Village Park in Long Beach. It’s at the southern end of the Long Beach Freeway, across the channel from the Queen Mary. Dave Hecht and Barbara Dupin of “The Ultimate High” kite shop in the adjacent S.V. shopping area are responsible for this activity…a call to dave at (213) 436-3180 will get you a wind-report and whether or not anyone is ”out theraflying…”

Attached to some bulk dacron braided line I bought from Janus Inc. (10903 Inglewood Blvd., Inglewood) was the attached “blurb” from Izor….I sent in my $1 in stamps and got a splicing needle…very useful for us folks that use braided line. I haven’t tried the recommended methods for ultimate strength yet, but seems to make sense… well worth it. Janus is a good source for 100-200# braided line in 1000 yard spools, 100-200# swivels, snaps,etc. It’s a store that caters to professional fishing folk.. If you come down on the snail, mebbe we can take a ride somewhere…take care of your self and keep up the good work…

ed. Pete, thanks for your newy letter, have you sent any kiddies to the shrink yet? -I also had the same “blurb” floating around here for several years, but parted with my dollar when I read your letter.

The splicing needle Works quite well if the braid of your line is coarse enough to al¬low the needle through. I have some tightly braided “leech” line that is too fine for the tool to work on.

Izor’s tool is the same as what the Rainbow Kite Co. calls their “NO-KNOT-NEEDLE”.

I’ve come to find out that the needle was developed some 20 years ago with the devel-opment of braided synthetic line.

At the KTA trade show at the Ohio AKA Convention, Rainbow Kite Co. was giving out the “NO-KNOT-NEEDLE” along with samples of Herculinet to practice on, which is where I firsT saw the needle, now I’ve got two!…Hope the trade winds were warm and sunny….

Grant Raddon, Portland, OR…enjoyed your report on the AKA Convention…I am confused by you description for the bamboo for the Suruga Kite. (Vol.6. No.6) The vertical and cross stick are 1/4″ thick . That calls for bamboo with a 1/4″ wall…that’s diffi-cult but possible. The cross stick calls for bamboo with a 5/8″ wall? I have never seen bamboo that large and thick. Does it exist? Is it imported? Where can I get it?…

ed. You are one of the few people who found that error, Bambusa-gigantus, is no longer available with the last known forest destroyed when the island of Kitelantis slipped into the ocean. The 5/8″ dimem-sion should be 5/16″ which is just over 1/4″ wall thickness of bamboo. Indeed this bamboo does exist in Japan as well as in Eastern part of the USA. Although not commercially sold I did see some in Richmond, Virginia being used for kites made by Verlon Vrana. I have not seen the bamboo of the West Coast growing this big. If you are interested in getting some from Vrana write or call: Verlon Vrana, 402 N. Belmont Ave. #5, Richmond, VA 23221 (804) 358-3787.

Thanks for the correction.


Luke LeTourneau has reported that his kite bag has been stolen from his car in Kansas City, MO. Kites lost in the theft include three parafoils custom built by Tom Henry. There was a J-15, J-30 and a J-70, the J-70 has a distinctive “Test Pattern” design. If you have any information con-cerning the where abouts of these kites, please contact KITE FLYER.

On a happier note, congratulations to Luke and his wife on their birth of a baby girl. She’ll be our youngest kite flyer as soon as she can get a hold of one of Luke’s kites:

George Peters and Clare Forester sent this little kite design along with their Xmas card this year. I hope they don’t mind my sharing with with you in this issue of KITE FLYER. George is an artist-kitemaker who now lives in Colorado. His “FLYING COLORS” banners and kites catalog is available: George Peters, 815 Spruce Street, Boulder CO 80302