Diamond kiteAerial Fest II - Nov. 1996

Here's my glowing (hopefully not boring) report on the recent Kite Festival held at the Avi Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada.It's going to be hard to describe all the wonderful moments of this past weekend, but I'm determined to try.

We left a wet and rainy Granada Hills, 4:30 a.m. Friday morning to drive the 4 hours to Laughlin. Johnny had packed tons of fighters (what else is new?), including enough cotton line and paper kites to try another game of "Wolf and Sheep".
When we arrived and made our way out to the flying field, it was like a "Home-town" reunion. There were several of our San Deigo club members already present: Ed & Gail Lindsay, Charlie & Joanne M'Clary, Steve Davis, Steve Bateman, Linda & Larry Mixon, with more arriving during the day...Paul & Dorine Imbach, Chuck & Janet Meyers, Bowdy & Kathy Aggers, Randy Tom, Jose Sainz, Larry Navaro, Walter & Barbara Thompson, Karen Gustavson, and Basir Beria.
Dorine Imbach's newest Kite.

Jennifer, Bob, Dale & Calvin. 
The Northern Calif. club was represented by: 
Ron and Sandy Gibian,
Bob Harris and
Jennifer Snyder,
Dale and Calvin Vanderhoof.
Then there was Spencer and Miyuki (Hawaii), Scott Hampton, Scott Skinner, Don Mock, Roger Maddy, David Britton (back from Brussels, visiting San Diego), Randy Shannon, Dawn Williams and Dan Proebstal, Dodd Gross, Tom and Brenda Dice, Dean and Stefanie Hines, Betty Street and Bill Lockhart. Jan and Mark Motto were there flying and entertaining us with their 'By Design Jazz Band'.
Don Mock's kite.
Roger Maddy's kite, 
with the Avi Hotel in the background. 

Friday's weather was quite spectacular, a quick drip-drop of sprinkles, high winds..low winds..moderate winds, the sun shinning thru tons of clouds (ranging from white to gray to black) which filled the skies and provided a fantastic background for all the high flying kites. Then once the sun set, we were treated to a Awesome electrial storm in the clouds hovering over the distant desert mountains. Those who were fortunate to catch this were simply mesmorized by the show, the lighting bolts resonated thru the clouds, and the slowly rising moon eventually peaked and emerged above the cloud layers.

Kites by (L) Jose Sainz and (R) Scott Skinner

Skinner with his playsail.

Other Highlights of the weekend:

David Britton treated the spectators to his "Triathalon" flying abilities, he flew riding a buggy, a unicycle, and even body-surf'd across the river using a large parafoil. He flew his Rev on shortened lines, catching hats off the crowd, and he even used our daughter, Michelle, as a prop, to hang a small hoop with ball over her head to her shoulders and then retrieved it. She was extremely excited when he had her come out and try to fly the quad line kite with him.

According to Ron Gibian, "Noodles" ruled this weekend, (Noodles being the latest description to his long rectangular kites) and this comment was directed at Scott Skinner.

Scott Hampton's colorful banners 

Kites by Dan Proebstal.

Spencer almost lost his kite to a crowd of kids who attacked the bag of candy when his kite hit a tree during the launch for the Candy Drop event.

Randy Shannon's self-portrait kite got loose and became caught on the Hotel building, hanging upside down, causing everyone to laugh. Johnny saved the day by using an Indian paper kite and manjha on his Indian reel. He was able to manuvere the line up and under the roof overhang to "cut" Randy's kite loose from the roof. Now the slogan should be "Fighter's rule"!

Kathy Plummer's daughter got married Sat. evening as the sun was setting. Miyuki brought several Hawaiian leis and Head wreathes from Hawaii for the Bride and Groom, then after the short ceremony, everyone was invited to the reception.
Bob and Jennifer managed to get their large Babean Kite from Bali up in the sky.
Bill Lockhart was easily spotted in the casino by his trademark red jumpsuit. And Dodd Gross demonstrated several of the new sport kite moves, one of them being the "waterfall". Sunday afternoon, he was trying to talk Johnny into taking one of the Dodd Gross flight school classes, yet he couldn't keep his grip on his bottle of beer, dropping it a few times, causing Johnny to comment "Good thing I didn't take your class, I'd be dropping my kite right about now!" (Something Johnny's already been known to do on occasion at WSIKF) 
Lawn "thingy". 

Randy Shannon and Scot Hampton visited our room Saturday nite. Johnny conducted an impromptu show-in-tell with the fighter kites in his collection. Meanwhile Michelle and Ramsey (Randy's 2 yr old son) played, watched Hercules on T.V., and bounced on the hotel beds.

Basir - Wolf #1 
Sunday afternoon they finally played the Sheep and Wolf game.
Basir and Johnny each put up a Wolf kite, and went to work on the sheep (Scott S., Jennifer, Bob, Stefanie, Larry, Steve B., Charlie, Miyuki, Spencer, & Karen, to name a few). 
Basir cut a few kites down before he ran into Johnny's line and Basir's line was cut.

Johnny - Wolf #2
Bob was flying a Tukkal fighter and it was having a hard time staying up, one of the children thought it was falling and she ran up to grab it....Bob threw up his hands in frustration...Oh well..
Later Johnny's wolf was lost, the cutting line gave out before the last kite was cut...Charlie's kite was the last one in the sky

This festival was definitely well worth the drive.

SPECIAL THANKS to Karen Gustavson for providing the pictures that grace this page.
All images Copyright (C) 1997. Last Update June 11, 1997.
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