November 30, 2011
And Now for Something Completely Different

The night after we returned home from South Africa, the phone rang....

Most of you know of our efforts in the kite community. President of AKA; President of KTA; President of AKA again; Chair of World Sport Kite Championships; inducted into Hall of Fame and Edeiken Award. What you may not know as much about are our efforts closer to home supporting causes, candidates, and projects near and dear to our hearts.

At the same time, we've been building our business. We've opened three stores in three years. "Expand in this economy??" people ask. Absolutely! We're not waiting for things to get better - were trying to help them get better! We're expanding now. We're investing now. We're putting people to work, now!

So the phone rings...

It is Arnie Roblan, Speaker of the Oregon House. We've never met before. "Your representative is retiring", he says "and your name keeps coming up as a good candidate to replace her".

It was as unexpected as if Steven Speilberg had called to say he was making a new film here and had a part for me...

Life is pretty good for Susie and me right now. We work hard and we love what we do. We think that our products and service make a difference. Our aim is to treat customers as friends. That means they deserve our respect, our knowledge, and our support. It also means we want to have some fun together.

But difficult times demand that we each do what we can, especially when there are opportunities to do things that can make a difference.

Susie and I talked hard about the pros and cons, how this would affect our lives, our business, and our employees. We talked about the financial and personal costs. And we talked about what we might be able to accomplish.

You may not know that 25 years ago, I worked in our legislature, first as a chief-of-staff, and then as a committee administrator. I ran campaigns, and spent three years as an administrative judge. Susan was on the Secretary of State and Governor's personal staff. So we know what running -- and serving involves.

We met with our representative who promised her full support. We met with campaign organizers and contributors. And one night, the phone rang again and it was the former Governor offering to headline our kick-off event.

A week ago, we filed for office.

Our intent is that the campaign and ultimately being elected will not affect that level of service and quality you expect from us. Oregon purposely has a part-time legislature that only meets three months a year. Those months, you may be working more with our expanding staff. And I may miss a few events. But that was our plan anyway. I'd take office the year I turn 60 -- which is roughly the weight of my kite bags. It's time to consider some new challenges!

Susie and I hope all of you will take this as positive news - both for the Gombergs and for Oregon. A preliminary web page is now online at Our most immediate challenge is to begin raising funds for the coming effort.

Here in the Update, we'll keep you posted on developments from time-to-time.

Thanks -- for your interest, your support, and your friendship.


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