Warnings and Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental This is adult entertainment! Be warned! If you are not into graphic depictions of sex and/or sexual situations, this is the wrong story for you! If you're too young to be legally reading this, go elsewhere!
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The Girl and the Kites
The phone rang just as I was leaving the Park.
"Phil, this is Stan. Are you about on your way back to town?"
"Just pulling onto Lakeshore, Stan. What's up?"
"Could you come into the shop for a couple of minutes when you get back here? I've got a customer who would like to meet you and possibly buy some of your time."
"OK. I'll stop by you guys and then drive home after. Be there in about five minutes."
"Great Phil! See you in five."
With that Stan hung up and as I folded my cell and dropped it back into my fanny pack I wondered what he was going to spring on me now.
Stan was a friend, the owner of the local kite shop here in our little community on the shore of Lake Michigan. He sometimes corralled me into doing something for the shop whether I had planned on it or not. But, he gave me great discounts on my flying materials so most of the time I was more or less willing to help him out.
The last two weeks he'd had me replacing the kite store's 'beach teach'. Bill had to leave town briefly for a family funeral. He's the guy who usually did that job. That had put me out on the State Park beach for six hours a day, two days a week. My job was to help customers who had purchased kite materials at the store figure out how to use them. Most of the time that meant that I was giving flying lessons to people who thought stunt kites looked cool, but who had no idea how to fly one. It was generally teaching from scratch.
I also was a walking, talking, and flying advertisement for the store. You'd be surprised how many people would watch me flying a kite and come over to talk about the sport. Again, many of them were newbies and after getting them hooked I would give them one of the kite store cards I kept in my fanny pack for just that purpose. I'd tell them how to get there and who to talk to (generally Stan) in the store.
For this Stan paid me a whopping $100.00 a day.
The funny part is that if I weren't down there for him I'd probably be down there for myself. I'd answer the same questions, hand out the same cards, and help the same newbies learn to fly their new toys. That's because I'm a kite-nut. Little kites, big kites, huge kites, I have some of them all. Single line, double line and quad line, I have some of them all. And I fly kites for fun just about every day of the season (that's May through early October in my case).
My name is Phil Vance and I'm 42 years old. I'm also one of the luckiest people in the world. I have to tell you this before I tell you about the next several months of my life. Now this gets a bit complicated but bear with me. Two days before my 35th birthday a representative of a legal firm here in town contacted me. He asked me to come to their office to discuss the matter of an inheritance. He was fairly insistent despite my protests that I had no family to inherit anything from. We made an appointment for later in the week. When he finally got around to business after the introductory small talk at that meeting, he told me that Mr. Jenkins, the 'little old man down the block' from my apartment, as I thought of him, had died the week before. I had helped him out a number of times when his age and general infirmities had put some roadblocks in his way. Never anything big, nor was it all that often.
At least, that's the way I had thought of those occasions.
Mr. Jenkins had apparently seen things differently. Like me he had no family, a fact we had discussed a couple of times when I was over there helping him. I guess that's what made him do it.
He left me everything! After paying the inheritance taxes I was the new owner of his condo located in an old rehabbed factory building in the middle of town. It was one of the premier locations in town and I now owned one of the largest units in the building. Completely furnished. All of the contents were included. And all of the contents of his bank accounts and investment accounts. I was now a member of the somewhat wealthy people of the world. I would never have to work again!
So, I didn't! It took me just about six months to quit my job as an accountant for our county government. (Our fair city is also the county seat.) I didn't mind the work, just the boss. So one day, after what I considered some unjustified criticism, I handed in my resignation and never went back. I felt more justified about it all when that same department manager was released, without recommendation, some five months later. It's really petty of me, but I did enjoy that turn of events.
I haven't really missed the work, just some of the people. Most of them were (are) good folks. Some of us still get together occasionally. All of that happened about seven years ago and it's been an interesting seven years!
So, I can spend a bunch of my time designing, making and flying kites. I know, I know — a lot of people think that I should find something more 'uplifting' to do with my time, but I tell them a kite 'lifts up' just great! I just don't tell them that I also spend two to three days (and often evenings) each week with the reports from organizations and individuals supported by the O.C. Foundation that Mr. J. had established. It seems that he had made quite a bit of money as an investor of funds after selling his farm machinery company about 25 years before he passed.
It turns out that Mr. J. had put 100 million dollars into a charitable foundation about five years before he passed on. Its mission is to support 'worthy activities' within our county borders. The foundation has an appointed a board of five community leaders from all over the county and he had headed the board himself. He'd had the deciding vote on all funding that the foundation would make. And I had inherited his position on the board, too. We give away between five and ten million dollars in grants to 'worthy activities' each year from a fund that keeps getting larger and larger. I have found that the idea of what is a 'worthy activity' is very much in the eyes of the beholder. It does take a fair amount of work to sort through all of the application forms. And to check up on the recipients after they've had the money for a while. Sometimes they get more of our money, sometimes they don't.
So I put in time each week meeting with investment advisors, with charity leaders and with individuals as needed for my service to the foundation. Frankly it takes a fair amount of time and energy, but I'm extremely happy doing it. Who doesn't like giving money away?
And I've been able to maintain the personal anonymity that Mr. J. had always insisted upon. It's those community leaders on the board who make all the announcements and represent the O.C. Foundation when someone needs to physically and publicly show up someplace. It's good politics for them and privacy for me. It works.
But that's why I can fly kites. It's a great sport and a lot of fun to help others learn how to do it. Our state Park is one of the busiest in the system with people from all over our state and from others coming out to spend some time on our white sand beach and in our cold Lake Michigan waters. Over the years the Park beach has been sort of unofficially divided and we kite flyers sort of have our own section to use. The beach volleyball poles make up one of our marks, the campground another, with the lake itself and the channel completing our boundaries. Someone is flying there just about every flyable day of the season. Stan knows that I usually spend about 3 days a week on the beach. If he knew about my finances he would probably choke about paying me my 'beach money'.
Anyway, on that Friday, I parked my relatively new but unremarkable Toyota Sienna minivan in the public lot behind the kite store and headed in. I carried along the two kite bags of store kites that I had been flying for the past two days, because Bill was due back this weekend to reclaim his 'beach teach' job. The rest of this story is about the woman who is the second reason I say that I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world.
As I dropped the kite bags behind the back sales counter Stan walked over followed by a lady who was looking at me kind of funny. She was brunet, about five foot four, somewhat on the slim side, wearing a pair of dark blue mid-length shorts and a baggy T-shirt with the city's logo on it. Her hair was a short brown curly cap on her head. I've stopped trying to guess a woman's age, but if pressed I'd say about 30. And she was definitely in the 'look-at-twice' category.
"Hi, Phil! I'd like you to meet Frankie Grey. She's interested in learning to fly a Revolution and I suggested that you might be able to find some time to help her out. Are you available at all tomorrow?"
I reached out to shake her hand and responded, "My pleasure, Frankie. No, I'm afraid my Saturday is already spoken for. But I could probably find a couple of hours on Sunday. Have you ever flown a stunt kite before?"
"Hi, Phil. No, I haven't, but it turns out that I've watched you on the beach for quite a few hours however. I didn't know who Stan was calling for me. But I've seen you and you do know how to fly well! I was especially impressed by that big patriotic kite you put up on Monday. But I didn't know that you were the store's designated flyer!"
Stan turned away with a quiet "Gotta go cover the front counter — see me before you leave, all right Phil?"
"Sure thing Stan. Frankie, I'm just a fill-in for the usual flyer who had to leave town briefly for personal business. Stan paid me for two days of flying this week and Monday was just for my own fun. That Delta kite is one of my favorites, it puts on a good show. It took me a while to find the right laundry to fly with it but it's just about the way I want it now. Tell me, why do you want to fly a Revolution?"
"Over the past few weeks especially I've watched people flying stunt kites and a Rev looks like one of the neatest ones out there on the beach. I like the way it will stop dead in the air, even hovering above the beach. After watching and talking to people I came down here to the store and Stan tells me that the quad line kites are probably the hardest to learn to fly for a beginner. Is that true?"
"Well, my very first stunt kite was a Rev II and it was the pits to learn! There were two of us guys trying to learn to fly them at the same time without anybody to help us, and we spent a lot of time putting our kites top spar first into the ground! But since my buddy and I learned how to control them we've had a lot of fun with them. In fact I think Stan still has a picture of me flying a stack of three Rev IIs up there on the wall behind the counter. So, it's possible to learn with a Rev. Have you picked one out yet?"
"Well, he tells me that he doesn't carry the Revolution I so I thought I'd take a 1.5 SLE. I've found a color pattern that I like and he gave me a price that I thought was reasonable. He'll sell me the one I liked for $190.00 out the door and he has one of last year's neat looking Anniversary 1.5s that he'll sell me for $300.00. He makes it sound like that's a good deal, but I can't see spending that much money for a beginner's kite. So I thought I'd take the regular one. Does that sound reasonable?"
"Well, let me talk him into the usual discount for kite club members and we'll get you out the door for about ten dollars less than that and you'll have a good kite. If you want we'll grab the kite you like and set up a time for Sunday while you pay Stan off."
She had a grin on her face, "Sounds good to me! I already set the one I liked on the top of the counter over there, so I'll grab it and we can hit the cash register. I'm still amazed what a few ounces of nylon, graphite, strings and handles costs. But I guess if I want to learn how I'd better go write the check!"
She grabbed the package holding the Rev's component parts and the training video and headed for the front counter. While we were waiting for Stan to finish with other customers we set up a time to meet the day after next. Since she wanted to start early I agreed to ten AM on the beach in front of the Park's entry station. We exchanged cell phone numbers 'just in case'. I told her that we'd try to fly the kite for a while, but that when we finished I'd want to take about half an hour at my condo to balance the strings, since they would have stretched quite a bit during our learning session. I also recommended that she watch the training video a couple of times before Sunday.
So, on Sunday morning at about 9:30 I headed for the park for my 'new job'. Actually we'd never set a price for helping her learn to fly a Rev. I really figured that since I'd do it for free anytime I was out there that I could treat this situation as the same.
I only carried one kite case, another small one of parts, and a small cooler with me. The kite bag was an awkward one however. My big dragon kite was inside of it; 150 feet of nylon behind a head about four feet across makes an awkward package before it was launched. I also carried the smaller bag with the kite line reel and a few ground stakes in it.
When I got out to the lake side of the flying area I screwed in my stakes and rigged the tie-down line on them. Then I pulled out the head of the dragon kite, a white Lady's face in ivory, with accentuated cheeks and bright red lips, out of the bag and used a lark's head knot to tie on the flying line. After I knew I could grab the kite if needed I dumped some sand on the head to hold it down and pulled the tail (all 150 feet of it) out of the bag and sort of triple folded it out downwind. Returning to the head I pulled on my flying gloves (you need them with a large single line kite) and dumped the sand off of the Lady's face.
Lifting her toward the morning wind I let it take her and she began her flight. Using the single line to control how fast she rose she gradually lifted all of her multicolored tail off of the sand and, as most of it shook out, I slowly let out the line until she rose to about 150 feet in the air. When I was sure that she was flying comfortably I walked over to my stakes and tie-down line and used two larks heads to tie the fly-line to the ground-line.
Gosh, I always thought she was one of my most beautiful kites when she was in the air! For a moment I regretted not bringing her daughter with me that day. I had a 50-foot long duplicate that I liked to fly about twenty feet above 'momma'. It made for a neat show to put the two of them up together but as they sometimes 'hunted' they required a bit more attention, and I hadn't wanted that additional distraction this morning. I'd wanted to be able to concentrate on my 'lessons' instead of my single-line display. That's why I hadn't brought anything in the laundry line either.
For a weekend morning the beach wasn't very busy yet, but I knew that from noon on there would be a lot of sun worshipers around. I figured to be out of the area shortly after the noon hour if at all possible.
At about five minutes before the scheduled 10 AM I saw Frankie heading over the beach toward me. Today she was wearing khaki mid-length shorts and another T-shirt, this time I noticed that it was nicely filled. The T-shirt was one that advertised the kite store, so Stan must have thrown it in the bag as a freebie when she bought her kite. Her short brown hair was covered this time by a Detroit Tiger's baseball cap. Brown tinted sunglasses hid her eyes from the sun and my view. Her new kite was in its sleeve in her right hand.
"Good morning! I love that kite! Is she yours?"
"Oh, yes! Stan has a few but I like this design the best of my own, and I thought I'd let her up while you learn to handle a quad. She doesn't take much tending in a good mild wind like we have this morning."
"Well, let's get this thing set up. Stan said you could show me some 'flyer changes' to the standard setup too."
"He's right, there are some setup changes I can show you if you want to stay around long enough; they do take a bit of time though. Are you in town for long?" Most of the newbies I met on the beach were tourists in for just a few days to a few weeks.
"Oh, that's right! We haven't been introduced enough! I live on the hill up there." She pointed up the dune that was the eastern side of the beach park, separated from the park by Lakeshore Boulevard. On the other side of the road the dune rose rather steeply with roads cut into it like terraces lined with houses.
"I'm on the third street up and I look straight down on the entry drive to the park."
"Hey, that has to be a great view! Do you work in town?"
"Well, at the moment I'm on vacation, but I'm usually found at the pizza place on the other side of the highway."
I knew where she meant. There were only three places in town that specialized in pizzas and two of them were on this side of the state highway that divided the city. Both of them were major chain operations and served a decent pie, but the one on the other side of the highway was not a chain store. It also provided the best pizza known to man. Eat in or take out I was generally there at least once a week. How come I'd never noticed her?
Serendipity in reverse, I guess, because her face and figure brought no surge of the familiar.
"Well, if you live in town that means that we'll have plenty of time to set you up with 'flyer tips' after we get this kite sorted out. Go ahead, dump all of it on the sand and we'll get started."
So she did just that and we spent the next half-hour getting the kite set up. That started with separating her lines and temporarily tying the manufacturer's clips onto the lines and explaining to her the idea behind the clips. I also explained some of the 'flyer changes' we could make that would make the process easier and faster. They couldn't really be made until after we had flown the strings a while to stretch them out and had balanced them. And even then we'd have to rebalance them after some regular flying on her part.
With the kite assembled I showed her how to use some beach sand to hold the kite down while we worked on it, how to attach the lines to the kite and then to their respective handles. This kite has four lines, two to each side with one on the top and one on the bottom of the vertical spars. The lines were attached to the handles the same way. I had brought a stake for her to use to hold the lines while setting the kite upright because I figured she didn't really know one was needed. I was right. The stake was just a piece of 3/8s-inch aluminum tube about 12 inches long, I generally use a metal target arrow's shaft for the material. I always epoxied a drilled out golf ball to the end of it as a slide stopper and a handle. With the handles staked and the lines separated I walked out and dumping the sand off of it, I set the Rev on its points, main spar facing up.
Walking back to the handles I picked them up carefully from the stake and raised them to my waist. I tucked the stake in between my belt and the back of my shorts, holding it there for the kite's retrieval. Giving a quick flip with the top of the handles pulled back toward me I launched her colorful kite. Using movements of both hands, forwards and backwards on the handles I flew the kite through a variety of different maneuvers. My intent was to check the line lengths and the balance of the kite before handing it over to Frankie, but she saw it as a sample
of what she was about to learn. Actually she would have to put in many long hours to get the control that I had learned over the years. But she was constantly 'ooh-ing' and 'ah-ing' over what her kite was doing.
When I set it back down on the beach I turned to her and told her that the kite was handling properly and asked if she was ready to start learning to fly the bird.
She stepped up and I let her put her hands on mine, which were on the handles as I slid closely around her. I had told her that we'd fly the kite together for a bit before I let her try it by herself. So, with her hands on mine and my arms around her from behind we again did the quick snap that pulls the kite into the air. From there on I simply concentrated on getting her familiar with the basic moves that gave control of the kite. We practiced landings and takeoffs and side to side flight and slips. Mostly the basics, she could learn fancy moves later.
Shortly we switched hand positions so that she was doing the actual flying and mine were there only to prevent over control or catastrophe from occurring. During this part of the exercise, as she began to do the actual work I began to really notice how nice she was to have my arms around. Her butt was occasionally moving back into my crotch and my arms had been brushing against the contents of her T-shirt since we started this flight. All told, I was becoming very aware of the fact that she was female and not at all undesirable. We'd been having a lot of fun together.
But, ever the teacher that I was trying to be, eventually I backed away and told her that she was 'on your own!' She didn't look away from her new job when she said, "OK, but don't go too far away!"
I assured her that I was just going to grab some water from my cooler and stepped over to the ground stakes of the dragon where I had left everything. I plopped down, pulled out a bottle of water and took a long cool drink. And I watched the novice flyer having the time of her life. Until she did the usual and planted the kite on its head, with its top spar in the sand. It's not really hard to recover from that as long as you don't get scared and let the kite lay down; she didn't.
"Fly it backwards," I yelled. "Bottom is top, take off like you're flying backwards and roll it over when you're up a ways."
She must have understood because it took off, rose straight in the air for about 25 feet and rolled into its upright configuration. She looked over with a huge grin on her face.
"I did it! I took off from a crash just like it hadn't even happened! That was great!"
"OK, now land it right-side up and stake the handles."
She did, although I had the stake hung at my waist so I had to bring it over to her. When she got the handles staked and stood up her hands were shaking from the tension she had been under during the past 20 minutes of solo flying. I remember the feeling (from a long, long time ago)!
I brought her over by the cooler and got her to sit down. Pulling a bottle of water out for her I asked "Having fun?"
She turned the biggest grin at me and said simply "Oh, yea!" and took a big chug from the bottle.
"Good, take a bit of a break and then you can go at it again. Don't try to get too fancy yet, just have fun getting control. A Rev can do a lot and once you get used to crashing and taking off again you can practice to your heart's content. How much more vacation do you have?"
"I have to go back to work after next weekend, so that means, let's see, that means that I have one full week left! Sounds great doesn't it?"
"Well, I guess so. I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock, so I'm just a bit envious."
"You mean you've been flying for the store on your vacation?"
"No, not really! I don't work what most people consider a normal schedule. Maybe I can explain it to you sometime. But right now it means that I have to work tomorrow. Here's what I suggest; I'm going to pull the Lady back to earth while you fly for a while. Then I'll help you pack the Rev up and we can head over to my place to put the proper sleeving on the lines and balance them. Then you can fly whenever you want over the next week. We'll have to balance them again sometime in the future, but we've gotten most of the stretch out of them already."
"You keep talking about 'balancing' the lines. What does that mean?"
"It means making sure that they are all exactly the same length. It's really not all that hard, just takes time. When we sleeve them we'll also set you up for clip-less flying. It's a whole lot easier when you want to do a quick setup and takedown. I guarantee that you'll like it. You can come over to my place to do that stuff because I've got a place set up for line balancing. OK?"
"OK! I really appreciate the help with all of this. It's more complicated than I had thought. I'm going to go and fly until you're finished over here. Come and get me when you're done."
With that she got up and headed back to her staked down handles. I enjoyed the view from behind as walking on sand has a tendency to put a very nice swivel into most female backsides. Her's was especially attractive I thought at that moment.
I pulled the dragon kite down and attracted the usual audience. The sheer length of the tail makes it hard to take down on a crowded beach. Somebody is always under it. But they're usually happy to move out of the way temporarily and many of them come up to talk. They want to know all kinds of things, like how long the Lady is, like why I'm wearing gloves, like where they can get 'something like that' and more. The price of two to three dollars per foot of tail length often stuns them. Eventually, with some volunteer help she was back in her bag, the fly line and the stakes were back in their bag and I moved everything up behind Frankie's flying position.
"All packed up? That didn't take you very long, but it seems like you attracted some help. Shall I bring the Rev down now?" she asked.
"If you're ready. I can show you how to do it step by step. Then we'll bring the whole thing up to my place for the next step."
And so she landed the kite. She laid it down backwards like I had told her and went out to toss sand on the sails before unclipping the lines. Back at the handles she unclipped them and used the winder to gather up the lines. I walked out to the kite with her and walked her through the take apart and roll up steps. Back at the handles she put the kite into its sleeve and dropped the handles and line-winder in with it.
"I suppose a small bag like yours would be handy to have instead of packing everything inside the sleeve, wouldn't it?"
"Yea, but don't be in too much of a hurry to buy one. Take a look at the stuff I have at home to get an idea of what you might want to use with this kind of kite."
We drove over to the public parking lot in front of my building and I waited while she parked her car and joined me in mine, carrying her purse and the kite sleeve. Since I have a garage space on the other side of the building and the lot was quite full I hadn't wanted to leave my car there; so we drove around the building. I actually have two garage spaces, but only use one side. I also had an inside staircase, if I wanted to climb three sets of steps. I opted instead to take her out into the hallway area and over to the elevators for an exercise-free ride to the top.
Walking in she was surprised at the size of the place. I had been too, the first time I went there after inheriting it. But I didn't give her time to look around. I just put the Lady's bag and the fly bag down and went to the closet that holds most of my kite stuff. I grabbed the bag with the repair parts in it and led her, carrying her full kite sleeve, up the stairs to the penthouse room above the rest of my unit. It's got a door that opens onto the building roof. There's only one other penthouse room and it's at the other end of the building. Both of us have good-sized decks, built up from the roof, although I didn't use mine very often.
Sitting down at the resin table I keep out there on the deck with a few chairs I showed her how to sleeve the kite lines, explaining why we do so as I went along. I also told her how to make her own sleeving wires and what to get from Stan for sleeve material.
With all eight ends sleeved and looped (two per line, four lines) I had to jump the short distance down from my deck to the roof and go across the roof to my neighbor's deck. Frankie's fly lines were about 90 feet long so it was going to take that much room to balance them. I'd done it before for my own lines so I knew how to go about it fairly easily. I hooked four loops to the nail I had driven at one end of the deck railing on his deck, and laid the lines out across the roof to my deck. Back up on my deck I pulled my line balancer out of my parts pack and showed her how it works. It's just a little plastic gizmo that indicates which of two lines is longer than the other. Then you shorten or lengthen until they're the same. It's a little more complicated with four lines but in short order we had all the lines the same length and wound back on their winder.
That taken care of we went back down to the 'great room' (hey, that's what a realtor friend said it is called) and I grabbed one of my Rev bags and opened the handle compartment. Pulling out a handle I took her winder and pulled two lines off about two turns. That was enough to introduce her to the use of leader lines and larks head knots. The idea is to tie about a six-inch section of heavy sleeving or fly line to the handle with knots tied about every inch. Then you just slide a folded loop (a larks head) over the handle line and pull it tight. By the time you've attached it and put in several knots the leader line is only about four inches long, but provides all kinds of adjustment possibilities as your lines stretch. It's also much faster and more flexible to hook up, to adjust, and to break down the fly lines than those clips the company gives you.
So sitting at the dining table we set her handles up with leader lines and I also showed her how to attach the other end of the line to the kite without the clips. It's done the same way, just a larks head above the knot the company puts into the bridle. So, clipless flying was in Frankie's future.
"Thanks, Phil. You've helped me so much today! I can't believe all these little ideas. How much do I owe you — you know we never did discuss the price of a lesson!"
"Well, there's one thing more I want to show you before you leave, but there is no charge for today. I'd do it for anybody who wanted to learn to fly a Rev, and especially a pretty lady such as yourself!"
She almost was going to insist on some payment but I guess the look on my face gave away the fact that I wasn't going to accept any.
The other thing I wanted to show her was the Rev bag that I had pulled my handles from. It's a short bag, just the about three feet long, the right size for a Rev sleeve or the sleeve of a Flexi-foil. I had three of the bags, but just showed her the one and how easy it was to carry everything, even strapping it on your back or slinging it from you shoulder. I told her the price (quite reasonable for a carry bag) and suggested that she get one from Stan or have him order one for her if he didn't have one in stock. She agreed. I also showed her how to modify it from the manufacturer's layout to help her more.
Then: "Well, if you won't let me pay you, and since it's at least an hour after most people eat lunch, will you let me share a pizza with you down at my place of work?"
Actually, that didn't sound bad at all, and since it was pushing 1:30 I was actually getting rather ready for some lunch. So I agreed, as long as she'd ride with me. She agreed and we walked the three flights of stairs down to my garage space, got into the van and headed east. Like I said, I knew the restaurant well and we made good time getting there, despite the weekend traffic.
I enjoyed sharing that pizza with her. We talked of many things, among them discussing that she worked at the most popular pizza place in town. Eventually the table was empty of pizza and beer, our conversation was pretty much finished, and our waitress had returned with Frankie's change, so we left. I dropped her at her car with my wishes for 'good flying' on her vacation. I told her that I'd be watching for her on the beach.
That concluded our first 'contact' session. I had enjoyed myself tremendously and hoped I would see her again soon. I was very happy to have learned that she lived in town.
But my Monday and Tuesday were work days this week, going from meeting to meeting and not getting home on either night before 7:30 at night. On the one hand, they were the only scheduled days for the week, so later on Tuesday evening I planned what I would do on the other hand; what I should take with me down to the beach on Wednesday. Hoping to meet Frankie (who had, frankly [pun intended] been on my mind since Sunday) I pulled out two Rev bags and then my delta bag. The big rainbow delta would do for a single line display and I thought that I could do with some more Rev practice myself, especially if Frankie were to happen to be there.
I got to the beach at about 11 o'clock and it was still fairly empty. Oh, there were sun worshipers gathering at their 'proper' section of the beach down in front of the concession stand and toward the south end of the park, but up here at the north end the number of oily bodies was rather sparse. That was as it should be in my mind and I proceeded to set up the big delta (it's twelve feet across) with its spinner attachments and got it into the air easily and tied it down to my ground stakes.
I stopped for a bit to gather all my stuff together in one place and then opened a Rev bag and pulled out a Rev I and its lines and handles. Just as I was staking out the handles I heard a "Hi there, Phil! Good to see you and your kites here again." It was Frankie.
"Hi yourself, lady!" I turned to greet her. "I'm glad to see you too! I was just going to set up my kite. Did you bring yours with you?"
At that she did a 180 and I could see a Rev bag like mine strapped over her shoulder. It would hold her kite and all the other paraphernalia. She turned back and shifted the bag off and over her shoulder and set it on the beach.
"I sure did! And I have to thank you for the idea about the bag. It's so easy to bring everything along with this. And I copied the idea of the fanny pack too. Between the two of them I can just walk down here whenever I want to fly and I'm all set. Oh, and thanks for the stakes you gave me too. I don't know where to get anything like them and Stan says that you make them yourself. They're neat!"
"I'm glad you like them. Now let's get set up and fly some kites! I brought my Rev I today because I haven't flown it for a while. It's about a foot and a half longer than yours in wingspan. If you want we can trade later and you can fly one of the big boys."
"Sounds great! Well, if you're setting up here I'll move back a bit towards the entry station so we each have enough room."
And that's what we did.
I do enjoy my Rev I. It's one of the older ones with four solid color panels. Red, orange, amber, and then yellow for the center and then the same sequence going out on the other wing, a color combination that you can only get by special order today. The kite flew well today and I spent about an hour re-learning some of the maneuvers I had almost forgotten.
About an hour after we started we both staked our kites down and took a water break. We lay down next to each other and talked for about half an hour while re-hydrating ourselves. Then we traded kites and flew for a while again.
When Frankie seemed to be comfortable with the big Rev I we brought them to rest in the 'up' position and walked over next to each other. I explained what I wanted to do and we started 'follow the leader' with her leading (with my kite) and with me following (with her kite). The advantage of the Rev here is that when I started to catch up too close to hers I could just slow mine down. After about ten minutes of that she wanted to follow me for a while and we tried that. I coached her through some of the rough spots and we actually did pretty well. Give us some more practice time and we could be pretty good.
Actually, we did well enough to attract some wanna-bees up who wanted to talk kites. So I swapped out my kite for an older three-color version and gave a few people some lessons. They'd probably be turned off by the prices tomorrow in the store, but hey, I wasn't going to burst their bubble! So after satisfying most of them, I decided to give them another view of the same kind of kite.
While Frankie flew her kite up the beach I set up something else. (I quietly advised her not to give her handles to anyone else, as that was a sure way to mess a kite up fast. I always flew an old one when I was handing off to a newbie or wanna-bee.)
What I set up was a train that I had made up by buying my buddy Ron's older Rev II, which had the same color pattern as my big one. I had also bought a special order Rev EXP in amber and yellow — the middle colors in the other two. So I chained a Rev II, a Rev EXP and a Rev I together at six-foot intervals and it was a neat looking three-kite train, each kite noticeably larger than the one in front of it. I flew it with homemade long handles. I also used 200-lb. test line. It was a blast to fly and the civilians always seemed to like the looks of it.
So did Frankie. Shortly after I had it in the air she had staked down her kite and walked over behind me to talk as I flew the combination. After answering all of her questions about trains and the individual kites to her satisfaction she asked if she could fly it. I told her that it had quite a pull (she'd seen that I was leaned back to control them). She asked if she could slide under and in front of me, like we had done the other day, and fly with me for a while. I thought that would be a great idea and after flying with her hands on mine for a while I set the train down and gave her the handles with a warning about the amount of pull to prepare for.
I paralleled her hands for a period of time but when I figured she had it mastered I backed away and let her fly. Looking around I noticed that she had quite a crowd of on-lookers. As I backed away and pulled my water bottle out of my fanny pack one of the wanna-bees asked if he could take a turn. I had to tell him that only 'my girlfriend' could fly that particular set of kites. He took it fairly well, especially after I told him that she had over $600.00 worth of kites in the air right then.