My Dad was one of the greatest. He would help you do something and stand in the background and not take credit. It was this way with flying kites. Dad helped me build a new Hi-Flier Kite, and we didn't just follow the instructions. We made a superior kite. The kite I had was similar to the pictures but white in color. Dads rigging was to hook up all four corners together and then hooked to the main string. This stabilized the kite, and if you got the angles just right it gave you an amazing lift. We had a very long tail added to stabilize this kite.
One Saturday we had a whole day to fly a kite, and we used the whole day. Flying kites is a treacherous business because trees and wires eat them or so it seems. Second East street which was known as corral street was made for kite flying as there were no electrical wires and at that time no trees. Grandpa Wilson had a large barn in the South East corner of his yard that we used as a kite flying barn.
We started out by running up the street and got the kite in the air, and it finally got up into the wind, and then we climbed upon the barn holding to the kite. There was no problem on this day because we had a good kite in a good wind. Everything went right this day and soon we had let out the whole ball of kite string. Glenn Ray then volunteered his string. We carefully tied the end of my string to Glenn Ray's and started letting it out. You had to be careful as you let out string as the kite would loose altitude if you let it out too fast. Soon we had all of Glenn Ray's string out. Soon someone else came and lent us their ball of string. Wow, we had three balls of string on one kite, and it still wanted more. You could tell the kite wanted more because it really pulls hard on the string, so hard we were afraid it would break. We pooled our pennies and sent one of the neighbors to the kite store to buy more string. We then slowly added another two balls of kite string to the three we had, bringing the total to five. We had never heard of anyone who had used five balls of kite string.
Oh no, Mom called me for lunch. “ Mom, I can't come; I am flying my Kite.” She told me that Glenn Ray could watch it while I ate. Oh! It took a long time to eat lunch, and you could see the kite out the window of the house. It looked like it was flying above Mt Loafer. I remember hurrying through lunch to get back out to the kite. It looked so small we wondered if we could fly it out of sight. Then something strange started to happen, people started coming by to see who was flying the kite. Other kids brought their kite string, and soon we were up to the ridiculous number of ten or eleven rolls of string.
Late in the afternoon Dad told us we ought to try reel the kite down because we surely wanted to keep such a great kite. We started winding the kite in, but it wanted to fly as it was pulling hard on the string. Our hands were getting tired of winding the string on sticks and the small tubes that ball came on. Then we got the neat idea to use a gallon can and wind the string on the can. This way each wrap brought the kite down faster. We even had one ball of green string. I remember winding the string around the can in strips that related to balls of string. Finally we were getting the kite down, but the wind had changed and we had to worry about the wires and roads like 3rd North. As we were now finally winding in the last ball of string, the kite took a nose dive but it looked safe on the road. We were down off the barn and running to get our kite when disaster struck, someone drove over our kite in a car. The greatest kite in the world got run over by a car! What kind of idiot would run over the greatest kite in the whole world. It was OK because we had flown the kite higher than anyone ever had. It was truly a team effort as every kid in the neighbor hood had been on the barn, added string to the kite, and held the kite and not dropped it. Not dropping the kite was quite a task for a group of kids. This Hi-flier was truly “A Playmate of the Clouds”