Meet the Kite Gnome…
Born in the Scottish Highlands in 1884, he’s been known as the ‘kite gnome’ since just a wee lad. Nobody remembers his given name, and that’s OK with him. After making his way to America in the late 1950s, he built a little cabin and workshop in the hills of western North Carolina. Somewhere around 1999, he became friends with a kitemaker who lives down at the base of his beloved mountains. The two will go to kite festivals, and the kite gnome will talk of his days spent flying kites with friends back in the Highlands. He always likes to say that the best people come with ‘strings attached’.
They say he’s been around the world more times than most of us have been around the block. He has stories of flying kites with kings and the penniless. He tells a tale of flying with some American cowboy in England around the turn of the last century. He doesn’t travel much anymore though. He says the last 135 years are catching up with him, but I think he just doesn’t like being too far gone from his hills, his cabin, and the little trout stream that runs behind the shop.
Lately, he’s been thinking about ways to share a little of the joy he’s felt and seen in the eyes of countless people around the world flying kites. His mind’s sharp as a tack, and the cabin has a pretty good internet connection, so we set him up with an old computer. He’s taken to drawing stuff and writing down things he finds interesting. He says he has an idea for a website to sell kite related shirts and swag. He’s been using the word “swaggery” for his shop. Is that like hattery, but for swag?
He’s also been rambling on about something more, something bigger. He thinks that there just might be a need for a new place online for the kite community to meet and exchange ideas. Someplace that would host long-form magazine-style articles and galleries. A place that would foster an actual dialogue about kites and kiting, not just a monologue with an applause button. A place for people to remember that kiting’s only partly about the kites, but maybe even more so about the people we meet, and the places it takes us along the way.
We’ve grown fond of the crazy old gnome, so whatever form this venture winds up taking, we’re in for the long haul. Check back now and again to see how the Kite Gnome is coming along with his designs and website building. Until then, be well.