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
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.