AKA Convention 2003  - Dayton, Ohio

I don't have any pictures yet from those that attended but I do have a report from Jim Martin. Jim writes,

"Greets all --

This is just to report back to the club that the WACKOS contingent (me, Jim, Laura, Jerry and Forest) held up the honor of the club in the fashion we've all come to expect, only nobody got arrested or anything.

WACKOS pins were the most sought-after item at the con -- I ran through all I had, Marty should be getting some inquiries through the website for more.  One went in the silent auction for around $25, another showed up by surprise as a playing piece in the AKA-Monopoly set put together by Sue Skinner. A third showed up in the Pin Challenge: surrounded by displays of hundreds of pins from serious collectors was a single pin stuck into a cardboard box labled "When you only have one...."  It won Most Unique Display, to the surprise and presumed disgust of the serious collectors.

Grumpy's stained-glass kite went into the Bag Raffle, so I'm not sure what it raised, but it attracted a good bag full of tickets, I'd estimate around $15-$20 worth (it was won by our friends from Atlantic Beach, who didn't know it was built by Grumpy until I pointed that out to them later!)  Sandra's Okra Pickles went for around $35 this year, won by Harold "Kite Squid" Ames (Sp??), our friend from RAF.

In the competitive arena, I picked up a a mixed bag of 2nd and 3rd place trophies in the mini-kite challenge, and the new part of my arch took another 3rd in its category (I am very consistent in competing with my arches!)  Jim, Laura and I teamed up with David Gomberg in the Rok Battle team event, where I am told we wound up tied for 4th (Harold was gunning for David, and though we won the first round handily, the next two rounds saw us cut down early, and the lead didn't hold up.)

Don't even ask how I did in the individual Rok fight.  My big three points didn't put me near the top, though I will say that my second round was scoreless due to a selfless sacrifice to tangle Harold so Gomberg could smack him.  Harold cut me, but was then grounded by David...

But the competitive WACKOS news of the convention was Jerry "The New Guy" Conway, who entered the Novice class fighter competition, flying a kite he made at a convention workshop.  Jerry stunned the world by bringing home third place "wood" in Precision against what other fighter-fliers told me was a very tough field.

Jim, Laura and I made a snap decision at the auction to try for the legendary Star Farker (An intentional piece of junk kite which has been auctioned off over and over again -- each subsequent owner trying jokingly to fix it up so it will fly.  Basically a silly way to make a donation to the AKA and go down in AKA history as one of the few, the proud, the incredibly stupid...)  To make a long story short, we got it.

We'll have a bunch of pictures to show you later, and stories to tell -- and several potential non-sewing workshops if we want to look at that once the winter sets in.  (Jerry, you wanna put our heads together to do that fighter?)

See you at the field next time,"

Jim later wrote,

"Just one more thing I somehow forgot to report to you about the WACKOS covert opperations at the AKA convention...

Just before the auction started, Jim and I siezed the Microphone and made a presentation along the following lines:

"We know the  official awards are presented tomorrow night, but the members of the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society would like to take a moment tonight to make a presentation. (Holding up nice plaque) I'll just read what it says here:

Know ye by these presents that
In recognition of meritorius service to the
American Kitefliers Association
we are proud to present this
Award to
who prevailed in the award balloting
through virtue of the Fourth Tiebreaker
(swimsuit competition).

In witness whereof we present this
expensive award.
The members of the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society

We then made an announcement about some lost and found sunglasses and a lost banner somebody was trying to find, then went back to eat our baked chicken..."

Jim Podlasek has put a bunch of convention pictures on the web, go to Jim's album pages to see them all.

There are also some photos put up by Kitelife Magazine - see them at http://www.kitelife.com/ . Look for the link to the 2003 Convention photos.