Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Kites


                When I was a boy growing up on the farm making kites was a yearly spring hobby. When those March winds came there were plenty of stiff winds blowing and you could get any weight of kite flying in the air. I would use my jackknife and whittle a piece of cedar off a long cedar rail until it was round and smooth enough and small enough to be used for the size of kite I wanted to build.
            I made kites out of old newspapers. I made kites with tissue paper and I made kites out of cloth, some worn out flannel shirts or cotton shirts or bed sheets. One year after the war our neighbors got a silk parachute. They cut this up and used it to make clothing. They gave me a piece. I smoothed off a piece of cedar rail to make the wooden frame for the kite that was six feet high .Then I covered it with the parachute silk. I made a long tail for it tying cloth bows on a long string of binder twine. Then on a very windy day we got the kite flying. It went up and up and up. We had lots of binder twine and the kite began to look very small way up in the sky.
            The wind was so steady and strong that we tied kite to a fence post and watched the it  fly all afternoon. When it was time to bring the kite down we wondered how we were going to wind up all that string. Then we got a bright idea. We hooked a wooden spindle onto the power takeoff of our Farmall A tractor, put the power takeoff in gear and let the tractor do all the work of winding  all that binder twine string attached to our kite.
            These are fond memories of kite flying and still when March rolls around I think of the excitement of flying a kite.

December 18 2010

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