It began prior to any concerns within our borders of a viral pandemic. The idea was to build a grass roots community event that would be a pleasant addition without a lot of cost. “Let’s have a Kite Festival,” I said. I had seen these types of festivals in other towns across the country and it seemed to inspire me. Hot air balloon regattas are quite costly, but kites, it seemed, could range from the modest to the absurd. Local businesses could get involved, individual residents could get involved, even community members that live out in the county, like myself could get involved.

So, the good wife and I ordered a select group of kites through, some which were good choices, and some, eh, that could have been better. We had visited with the local Chamber of Commerce and city authorities about the event and even with the practices associated with the viral outbreak, all seemed well.

At the time I am writing these thoughts, I just completed my first kite flying adventure for the Week of Kites. It about killed my sorry self! I don’t know how this happened. As a kid, my sister and I flew kites all the time and it was great fun. I don’t remember it being so much work or so exhausting.

Lately I have been thinking about some of the different activities that occurred when I was a kid in my search for source material. Today brought it home! I have heard about people deducing they could not survive in prison, after my kite flying endurance test, I don’t think I could survive riding a school bus!

In the spring of ’97, the good wife and I were in San Francisco where I purchased a kite from a vendor in the park at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf. It was on that same day that we saw Gravois Mills Productions, Don Johnson’s (not the DJ that was my high school principal) company, filming something in the north end of that same park. A little slummin’ with celebrities, there. That kite was amazing. It would launch on a whisper. Tie it off and it would fly all day unattended. One of the kites that we ordered from resembled that kite in shape and structure. It’s a good purchase. Should have ordered five more just like that! But no, we started looking through the kites and chose some by visual impact (oh, isn’t that pretty) and other criteria (oh, isn’t that cool). My original plan of launching them and letting them fly got complicated!

Back in the late ‘60’s one of the breakfast cereal companies had a promotion which produced a kite by redeeming five box tops. We mailed in a lot of box tops. When my parents sold the family home in ’95 and moved to the big town, my dear mother recalls finding kites sealed in the original packaging, stored in the shop. I need that kid now to fly these kites!

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions. He writes a weekly column for The Aurora Advertiser and The Neosho Daily News.