October 5, 2010
One Day in Seal Beach

Susie and I have been coming to Seal Beach off and on since 2000. It's a great event! And over the past few years, it has grown and evolved into one of the largest festivals in California.

A major change came when the Japan-America Association assumed organizational responsibility for the gathering. Each year now, they bring in Mikio Toki to teach kitemaking to kids in area schools. Taiko drummers entertain in the main arena. Fliers from around the area do demonstrations in the center field. And we fly larger kites. When the wind doesn't blow too hard, it is an ideal combination.

Toki Kites

Last year, gusts surged into the 30's and we struggled to maintain control in fields with no boundary markers to keep the public safe. This year, the area was well marked, the crowds well behaved, and the winds almost perfect for most of the day.

We emptied our bags into the air.

Fish Frogs Catap Fish

Big thanks to Lyle Walter, Jay and Janis Sabic, Glen Rothsten, Jose Sainz, Jimmy and Monica Weston, the Milburns, and the Lummas Family for their help and warm welcome. It was great to see so many Southern California fliers who often don't come north to other events we fly in.

Susie

Last week I mentioned the two new "Tattooed Fish" and asked readers not to tell Susie I had brought them home from France. But of course, she is much smarter than all of us and knew all about the new kites when I pulled them out of the bags.

The only problem we had all day was near the end when the wind was strongest. A Pilot tipped over and landed along side the boundary tape. There a "helpful" father turned it over and long-line launched it up through the power zone.

The Pilot line broke. The laundry below slid free. And all fell back into the crowd.

As I collected things and made sure no one was hurt, I paused and asked the fellow, "Please. If you don't know what you are doing, leave things alone."

"Your kite fell into my son's sand art." he replied.

"Well, if that happened," I said, "it was may fault and I apologize. But what you did caused the kites to fall in the crowd which is much more dangerous and much less controlled. And that's your fault." He left, no better satisfied or educated than before. But at least I tried....

There is much to be said for these one-day festivals. We brought 200 pounds of gear onto the fields; dug in anchors; and flew well all day. Then as the wind rose, we pulled everything down and went to dinner with friends. Longer flies don't give our aging muscles time to recover...

I'm sure a short schedule discourages some people from traveling further to participate. But Seal Beach is well worth a visit. Put it on your list next year and come join the fun!

Seal Beach Sky

Caterpillars were a big hit at Seal Beach. People kept asking when they would go up?? "Caterpillars don't fly!" I told them. "Wait until they become Butterflies!!"

If you want to add a Caterpillars to your ground show, now is the time to place an order. We'll make one up in your personal colors, or send you one of the two shown above. And we'll take 20% off the list price between now and October 15th. Just remember to mention the Update Special.

Offer applies to all sizes.

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