We collected every ball of string and bit of twine that we could find and waited for just the right day. The March winds finally howled one Saturday morning, so up the hill we went.
With a tail made from strips of old bed sheets to hold it steady, we launched our monster kite. Up, up, up it went into the strong, steady breeze. We kept adding more and more string as it rose higher into the sky. Maybe I remember it being higher than it actually was, but no one else we knew put a kite 300-400 feet into the air. From the hill behind the house it hovered high above the neighbor’s chicken barn.
It was a great adventure for us at that time. Four young boys reached higher into the sky than anyone else around. With a little bit of planning and youthful ingenuity, we explored the heavens. Remember, putting a man on the moon was still science fiction back then, so this was a big deal.
Kites have changed a lot today. There are unlimited shapes and designs, from multi-boxes to 3-D style artistic wonders. The sky’s the limit? Not anymore.
Kites have been adapted for all kinds of activities as well. I watched a guy on a surfboard being pulled at amazing speeds across the water by launching a kite up into the wind and hanging on to 100 feet of rope. Yeah, kiteboarding or kitesurfing looked like a lot of fun until you have to turn around and get back to where you started. But son of a gun, he did it.
So if someone tells you to go fly a kite, a windy March day seems like the perfect time to do it.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.