Kite Designers:
Bob Josjor and Karl Szilagi

Researched and written by William Teft of Santa Barbara, California


Here's my tale...

A while ago I started running down Mel Govig's list of fighter kite makers from an old issue of Kitelines. It's sort of my style to learn about all the people and personalities associated with something. I traced most of the folks but two names eluded my search at first: Bob Josjor and Karl Szilagi. Seems they both made some great fighters years ago.

 Bob made his fighters under the name: Serendipity Kites. I found him using an internet search and called him on the phone. He was tickled to talk and we became friends. He hosts a wonderful kite fly and sandcastle building event in western Nebraska every year. I mentioned I sold maps and a trade was immediately worked out for one of his fighters. I got the better part of the deal because the kite he sent me was fantastic. Graphite spars, perfect stitching, even a lightstick holder in front. I was overjoyed when I saw it. Bob's kite is a treasured and beautiful flyer!

Karl Szilagi was harder to locate. Mel had him listed in New Orleans. I called Big Easy Kites and they said that he left town some years back. I called a place he worked there and they said that he had moved to the New York City area. Then I called Dave at Big City Kites and he said that Karl was working at a bookstore out on Long Island last time he knew. I called Karl's work place and I was talking to him! He was surprised but pleased. He's become one of my kite friends.

He's got a family and doesn't have a lot of time to build kites now. In the seventies and eighties he built some of the most precise flyers out of paper and bamboo. Truly remarkable flyers. Karl told me he learned the art from Art Berman and Frank Rodriguez, two of the legends that built and flew fighters in Central Park back in the sixties and seventies. Maybe I can get Karl to build me a kite. I just have to find the right map to trade.

That's the story so far. I'm looking forward to flying with both of these guys someday. I hope everyone drops both Karl and Bob a message. It was good to find them.

I've got to go now. I'm tracking down a Korean reel maker and there's no time to lose! Hmm, I wonder if he needs any maps? 
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