Saturday, 19 February, fifteen surly men and one surly girl descended on Elma Washington, (aka Elmar Warshington) with the sole purpose of proving to the world who was the best kite flyer. The sky's were blue, the winds were light, the day was perfect. Fifteen men, and one girl strutting their stuff and vying for the number one position. The stage was set.
The Fat Kid arrived, fashionably late, in his Nash Rambler.
Hmmm a step up from the Nissan, is he trying to psych us
out? Rich, our host, brought his terror (or is that terrier?) to tangle
our lines and give him the edge. Ed brought a new fangled
design, a rogalo(sp?) wing, always on the cutting edge.
Kevin brought muzac (Hmmm another distraction) watch out
for the MacInnis boys. Dennis brought Art (does that fit,
or what?). The new kid brought a new hat (talk about
distractions) and a new nickname. Heidi??? Bruce and
Chuck brought new hardware, and were being veeery secretive about it.
Can you spell sandbag? And I brought Ed. Big
mistake, since he took me out of the round robin.
The morning was spent trying out new hardware, getting out
old kinks, renewing old friendships, and starting new ones, bragging,
blustering, and generally having a good time. New to this
group were Art Smith, Aaron Vanover, and Breanna Snodgrass.
Welcome, one and all.
Around noon, we broke for lunch. A welcome
respite. Rich had reserved the backroom of a local
Mexican Establishment (I think they did not want this rag-tag group
out front, scaring the other customers). As we entered
the backroom, there on the back wall of the backroom,in the middle
of the back wall of the backroom, in the official colors, was the
official NFKA club kite. A beautiful handmade Rokkaku,
with the NFKA emblem, compliments of Ex President Hurd.
Nice job, Rich. We will be proud to display
your kite at our flies. And what a seamster he turned
out to be. Say, Rich, I have a couple pairs of jeans
that need to be patched, can you help me out here? I'd be much obliged.
And so we ate. And while we ate, father and
daughter Snodgrass practiced on the flying field. Laying
in wait for fourteen sated men to come back and fight. Keep
your eye on Breanna Snodgrass, she could be the new Fighter Chick.
She lost to Rich by one measly point. Kept
Brian at bay for one of the longest matches of the day.
Yea baby, she's a fighter.
So, the new kite toys are packed up and fifteen stuffed, sated men, and one Fighter Chick readied for battle. The winds picked up. Every body shuffled for a higher wind kite. The winds dropped. Shuffle again. The wind was light and swirley near the ground. Tough on the unders. Last one to ground wins. Up higher there were the thermals. All of a sudden, the kite would just whoosh aloft. The muzac played, thanks to the MacInnis Bro's, until Ed said "turn that damn thing down".
Kevin and I vied for best string ball. I'm very proud to say that I won that event, and I wish to thank all the little people who have helped me along the way. If only my mother could see me now.
The rest of the field amused themselves with lesser
conquests. Heidi got the award for the cutest hat.
A little knit job, coal black, with pigtails and bows.
It almost distracted from the fact that he builds some
fine fly'n kites. Almost, but not quite.
Remember we've been puttin' up with the Fat Kid's
shenanigans for a while now. It'll take more than
pigtails to distract the Royale NFKA Elite.
Points were taken and points were given up.
And in the end, one man stood victorious over the
carnage. Bruce Lambert, who da thunk???? Undefeated,
unsoiled, a man to be looked up to. Second place went
to Brian Johnsen. Third place "d" (aka Dennis Crowley).
Ed Alden took fourth. Congrats to all of you.
Especially Bruce, it's about time you won something.
I can see that being away from the beach hasn't hurt
your fly'n a bit. Damn!
So having crowned a new king, for this month, Dennis, Art, Ed and this author retired to Bruce's to talk kites, buy materials, talk kites, drink tequila, talk kites, explore the dynamic differences between the buhka and the diamond, and of course talk kites. What a glorious way to end a glorious day. Surrounded by good friends, and schmoozin' with the champ. A perfect end to a perfect day.
And did we have enough to last 'till next month? Nay, I say. I have already talked, and/or emailed to some who went home and built kites. The next weapon? The next champ? The newest and shiniest.
And so it goes.
The March fly is scheduled for Fort Warden, Port Townsend. See ya'll there.
Your Humble Scribe