It is an honor to write this Pres corner! One of the biggest reasons is because I get to
officially say some nice stuff about people who deserve it very much. The following is a great
example of this.
It seems of late, the WKA has been the recipient of some extremely thoughtful and giving people. I will only go back as far as my memory will allow, to the 20th of June where the WKA was invited to attend the Sweet Strawberry & Kite Festival put on by the V2 Farm folks in Enumclaw, WA. I think it was the first of an annual event! We waited all day, but the wind didn't show up. But we did find out the kids don't seem to care. They were flying their kites practicing for the indoor ballet, I think. One time, the wind teased us for about 2 minutes. The field launched in unison with a display of color, then dropped like a hot potato. Or was it like a rock? At any rate something which did show up, and in a big way, was the kite man himself, Carl Williamson. He saved our bacon, because I didn't have any kites for kids, and he brought us lots of them. He is also the "Kite Bank" behind the Fort Lewis Family Fair every year with Glenda Kleppin and Jerry Graham. Suzanne Sadow also saved part of that bacon, by bringing some kites to give away! We were so blessed to have these two people show up to help us out! And thanks to everyone who showed up to fly too! There were around 75-80 there. That was terrific. Thanks also, to Penny Lingenfelter for bringing her corral of balloons and toys for the kids to play with again. Next year we hope she will move over to the main corral, where all the action is!
Moving ahead to this weekend. I got out of bed at 2:30 PM Thursday after my usual 3rd shifter sleep, go to work at 10 PM, get home at 6:15 AM the next morning, take my usual 1 1/2 hour Friday nap, get up and spent the entire day getting kites and spars ready, and packing for the pending International District (ID) Summer Fair. By 10 PM that night, I am usually close to death, looking forward to a nice sleep. But because of the anticipation of the fair, I woke up at 2:30 AM, after only 3 hours of sleep. I can't get the fair out of my head. I am setting up the banner poles, putting the windmill up, where to put the tables, oh! I didn't order enough tables! Planning how to deal with the mobs of people my son told me would be there. No more sleep that night. I get up at 6 AM and go pick up Tom Tinney at the hotel, go have a nice breakfast, and we set off for China Town. (I'll come back to the fair in a minute.) I get home around 8:30 PM. Has anyone been counting? I have had a total of 4 and 1/2 hours sleep from Thursday 2:30 PM till Saturday night at 8:30 PM. That's 4 1/2 hours total sleep, in 54 hours, if my math skills are still working. I didn't last 1 hour, and I was out for 8. I didn't even move a muscle all night. I woke up my arm was killing me from laying on it all night. But, I was so much more relaxed than the night before. The crowds on Saturday, as it turns out, were really great, no problems at all. If I had only known. . . . . .ZZZZZzzzzz. I am so glad that this kind of activity only happens for me 2 or 3 times a year. I don't know how Carl does it! Maybe it's my lack of sleep. Hummmmm.
Back to the fair. The ID Summer Fair actually turned out to be a very enlightening experience for me. It was slower than I expected. Because of my instilled fears, we decided not to give out free kites. Instead, we decided to charge $1 for the usual free ones. In our great wisdom, we figured it would do two things. 1. It would slow down the onslaught of all those who would trample us. And 2. it would make the club a little more money. Part of the decision was also because the fair was a vendor type fair. The other part was because my son had told me they would mob you if you gave anything away free, and your kites would be gone in one hour. Well, in retrospect, the waiting in line would have slowed that down a little, and the mob mentality was simply not as bad as imagined. I do think we could give free kites out next time though. Especially if we had some made up ahead of time. Yes, we had a lot of people asking if anything was free, but they were the exception. Tom was having trouble watching anyone walk away without a kite anyway. If they looked like they wouldn't pay a dollar, he motioned to them and whispered, “it's OK, we can make an exception for you!” Tom also brought his famous "Little kites" with him, and he was able to sell a few of them. That helped only a little to defer the expense of the hotel. Just in case you don't know, Tom is from Idaho. Yes that's right, he drove all the way over here to help us with the kids kites, at his own expense, for three nights at the Red Lion Hotel, and GAS! I can't say enough about how much it meant to Sylvia Bernauer and me to have him there with us. It was truly the nicest thing I have seen anyone do, in many years. Tom, you have no idea how important that was to me personally. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
None of us felt left alone or left out to rot, or anything like that. Because we knew going in, that everyone else would be at the Westport Festival. I hope everyone had a great time there and that we will hear about it in this newsletter. I would have gone too, except Jenn Meyers from the Acknowledge Entertainment group in Seattle had called us and asked if we would man a tent for kids at the ID fair. She wanted us there so badly, she waived the registration fees, entrance fees, gave us 2 booths free and no need for a vendor license. They provided the tents, tables and chairs. She told us we could sell anything we wanted, gave us vouchers for parking and if that wasn't enough, she also gave us $5 vouchers for food! I used mine for a waffle cone ice cream. (Cookies and cream, if you have to know!) Anyway, I couldn't say no to Jenn. I thought immediately, that the ID Festival would be a great place to get our WKA name out in the community. I was right. The weekend went great. We gave out a lot of business cards. I flew my Deb Cooley “Myassisa Dragon” windsock. It was a big pleaser there in China Town. Yes, yes it was. . . . . Think about it.
There was another reason the weekend went great. It was because of another of our “givers” in the WKA. Our own Suzanne Sadow. She and Ken Conrad made up a whole lot of kites to sell at the booth. There were silk & bamboo birds and frogs. They also brought us some Octopus Dragon kites (is that legal? Octopus Dragons?) and little kites with WKA and the 2009 ID Festival Logos on them. We sold almost all of the kites Suzanne brought us, and “dollared” them to death with all the others. We made a nice $270 for the WKA, passed out our name and did a LOT to "color up" the festival, as you can see in the picture. We were the only ones to have any kind of decoration. Remember, members can see the newsletter IN COLOR on the web site! Thank you Suzanne for taking time out of your busy schedule, and bringing us the kites! All of us thank you bunches! And thank you to Sylvia Bernauer for coming both days to help as well. I guarantee you I would not have done this without both you and Tom. And we would not have made any money, had it not been for Suzanne and Sylvia, who did all the selling. THANK YOU!
Now for the upcoming WSIKF. It appears we are going to be able to rent the Grange Hall again. We don't know for how much longer though. The Grange organization has stopped renting the building, but the owners have allowed us to use it this year. We will keep you posted on the following years to come. But for this year, we will see you Wednesday at the Grange hall for our annual WKA Lasagna Feed! There will be no Lasagna pins this year, only WKA pins. And only 90 total of those. We lost money last year so changes are afoot! And only 9 special pins this year. That's it. Get over it Pin Heads! The Dawg Dude will make an appearance again this year. I heard he is already gathering up a lot of pins on his vest to auction off to the highest bidder. He should be well vested by the time WSIKF is under way. Don't forget to send, or bring, your donations for the raffle. Any of the WKA Board members can take them for you. We need some of your special kites to raffle off! If you have any to donate, we would be very grateful for your donation. As you may know, this dinner is our main fundraiser for the year. Your donations are what keep us giving out to the community in the form of kites for kids, and our special sponsorships to the lucky few who win them. Which brings me to the last of my thoughts--Sylvia tells me that only 5 of you have registered for the Tom Sisson Fort Worden Scholarship. If you don't know about this, or forgot this, you still have time to enter. It is worth about $300 in registration fees for Fort Worden. If you are a WKA member, you are eligible to win this! It is a benefit of membership! I am thinking if we don't get any more than this entering, that we could stop doing it. Prove me wrong! The drawing, as usual, will be at the WSIKF Lasagna Feed. Good luck. I am sure Sylvia Bernauer has something in this newsletter to explain how to enter. If not, go check it out on our website. It is there.
That’s all for now—