"My Friend Felix”
This past fall, I received the following e-mail out of the blue ...
My name is Felix Cartagena and I live in New Castle, Delaware USA. I began kite flying on Nantucket Island off of Cape Cod Massachusetts in 1973. I bought my first kites as an adult from Al Hartig, the Nantucket Kiteman. In 1979 I became a member of The Maryland Kite Society and The AKA. Later I belonged to a number of other kite clubs. I was active in editing the MKS Windy Notice and have written articles for the AKA, many club bulletins, and KiteLines Magazine. I was Retreat Shepard/Planner for the MKS Kite Retreat a number of times and presented numerous workshops at these events. Additionally, I have done LOTS of kite workshops for community groups such as boy scouts, girl scouts, schools, museums, state parks, and senior centers. I am also well known for the bubble machines that I bring to kite festivals, which besides showing what the ground wind is doing, keeps the youngsters occupied. Along the way I have accumulated a large collection of kite books, magazines, news letters and more.
I have been whittling down a lot of my collections, not just the kites. I actually fly very little these days and only my smaller kites. The arthritis in my hands makes it very painful to handle the larger kites. My kite library resides on 3 shelves of a book case and the jewel of the collection, a complete set of KiteLines Magazines, in a file box with folders containing 4 issues each. There are AKA News/Kitings from 1979 to 2009 but nowhere near complete. There are also a lot of kite club newsletters from various clubs. There are many out of print kite books as well as books in Chinese, Japanese, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Portuguese (Brazil), Hungarian and even Hebrew.
The very first issue of KiteLines has an article on Paul Garber... I was lucky enough to get him to autograph it! At least 2 of the older books have been autographed by him also.
So... where is this all going? I have been looking for a recipient to donate my library to. So... I would like to offer you my kite library collection. When was the last time a complete set of KiteLines available?
After you pick yourself off the floor and catch your breath, let me know if you are interested. We can work out the details later. I can see by your Museum web site that you are in this for the long run. I want my books to go where they will be used and available for consultation. Thanks for letting me bend your ear........................... Felix
Hmm..... So who was this Felix? AKA "Samurai Kite Flyer" AKA "Mr. Bubbles"
I decided that the best thing to do was to drive 9 hours to Delaware and find out.
Stay tuned for my story about my trip to meet this fascinating soul....
Felix also provided the inspiration to launch the historical kite symposiums - Thanks Felix.
Here is a peek into the man
Ray Bethell - A first rate guy who was the first one to step up and believe in the dream of the museum.
Ray Bethell is one of the greatest kite performers in kite history - any where in the world.
Ray was most generous in donating one (and now two) of his three “Krestel” stunt kites which he used to set a world record that has never been broken of flying 3 stunt kites non stop for 12 hours and 12 minutes.
One of my favourite momeries of Ray was at the Cervia 2010 International Kite Festival in Italy, when some very special happened.
Some of the world’s top kite flyers and makers were being recognized by the organizers. In the audience were the famous - Peter Lynn, Robert Tranpanier, Kisa, George Peters, Capelli, Nick James, Jon Trennepohl, Malcom Goodman, Bas, Iqbal, Jonn Burkhardt, Pollock, Team No Limit, and many others ...
But there was one, and only one, that when their name was called up, caused the whole room to erupt in a spontaneous, loving and joyous standing ovation that didn’t want to end. And that one and only was - Ray Bethell. The outpouring of respect, appreciation and love for Ray was contagious, and there can be no greater tribute than to receive the recognition of your peers, especially from the best in the world. When you see the Italian people coming up all day long wanting to have their picture taken with Ray, you think it is amazing. To also witness his peers applauding him, it was a life memory.
But then, life memories always seem to happen when Ray is around.
Meet José Teixeira Fraga's (well known as Zeca das Pipas) pictured below.
Since the early 70's Zeca das Pipas has been promoting events trying to rescue one of the most popular Brazilian's entertainment form.
The partnership with mayors, shopping centers and culture foundations, helps him to carry workshops and kite flying for many cities in Brazil.
It's very grateful see people's integration. Children and adults looking to so many wonderful coloured forms at the sky: butterflies, boats, fishes, stars... Sometimes made by themselves.
Please visit him at: http://www.zecadaspipas.hpgvip.ig.com.br/indexeng.htm
FRIENDS OF THE MUSEUM
Grant & Deb Crawford
Lucy St. Dennis Jonkman
Hugh & Jean Muller
Jacques & Francine Létourneau
Patricia and Patrick Mouchague
Zeca das Pipas
Barry & Karen Ogletree
Jose Teixeira Fraga