Dr. Jim Nickel was a Warren-Walker kindergartner in Level Loma when he attended the primary Ocean Seashore Kite Competition. He remembers the way it took two days to make a kite from brown paper and balsa wooden. (Glue took time to dry.)
On Saturday, he confirmed native Key Membership members — teenagers related to Ocean Seashore Kiwanis — find out how to make the kites in minutes. The excessive schoolers in flip helped tons of of kids make and embellish their very own at no cost.
Discuss coming full circle.
Nickel turned 80 final week. That first kite competition? Held in 1948.
Saturday’s seventy fifth anniversary occasion — held at Robb Subject, simply south of the tennis courts — lacked the normal Kite Parade — children marching from OB Elementary west on Newport Avenue to the seaside. That ended about 10 years in the past.
“Acquired to be outrageously too costly,” mentioned Nickel, co-chair of the competition along with his spouse, Melanie. “Towing, police and fireplace [costs] — so many issues and so many complaints from the retailers, and funding from the town dried up over time.”
However Nickel, a retired pathologist along with his personal lab, was pleased to see the kites fly excessive (through 100 ft of line) amid cloudy skies and what announcer Glen Rothstein of Lengthy Seashore known as “tough winds.”
(Even so, critical fliers confirmed spectacular abilities with the quad-line innovations of Poway’s Revolution Enterprises.)
Rothstein, regional director of the American Kitefliers Affiliation, narrated demonstrations of formation flying and different aerial feats with about 30 members of the San Diego Kite Membership attending (together with some from a Ventura County membership).
Pat Warren, 78, has lived in OB “because the summer time of 1968,” she mentioned with satisfaction.
A former Peninsula Soccer League coach who additionally was the primary women soccer coach at Level Loma Excessive College, Warren credited the Nickels for having “actually resurrected the Kiwanis Membership” in OB — with Melanie the service membership’s first feminine member.
Jim Nickel in flip mentioned he was impressed to hitch (and later lead) Kiwanis by Paul Shank, a chemistry instructor at Level Loma Excessive College whose identify graces a scholarship. Shank oversaw the most important Key Membership within the nation, Nickel mentioned.
The Kiwanis-sponsored occasion follows two years of pandemic-restricted turnouts. In 2020, solely 10 had been allowed (5 children and 5 adults), Nickel mentioned. Final 12 months, about 120 attended a kite fest at Excessive Tech Elementary.
However kites aren’t only for children.
When the younger’ns grew drained wrangling traces — whereas awaiting a day “sweet drop” — their mother and father and guardians took over.
One customer, Craig Adams of Menifee, introduced his personal wind-catching creation. He known as the large float a “spiky ball,” modeled after a soccer ball. Youngsters went nuts pushing it round and up.
Adams was delighted.
“It provides me pleasure,” he mentioned as he watched the scrum from his moveable Jetson electrical bike (which helped him tow the float across the subject). “It’s my time machine.”
Ten years in the past, at 58, he realized he had prostate most cancers. Stage 4.
“They mentioned I’d be gone in a 12 months or a 12 months and a half,” he mentioned. “Kiting has made it attainable for me to maintain going. After I fly a kite, I really feel like I’m 35 once more.”
Adams as soon as lived in a van and was a member of the San Diego Kite Membership. Now he takes his creation to kite festivals, together with a current one at a Los Angeles park close to Chinatown.
He known as the previous decade, along with his kites, “the perfect 10 years of my life.”