The exciting conclusion to

The WACKOS Okra Challenge

After the Carolina Kite Festival, Mike sent a note with his thoughts and the results of the challenge.

OK R A ready:

This report is brought to you by the official correspondent and photographer of the WACKOS for the weekend of October 28th and 29th.

The weekend was awesome. Many more flyers than last year.
Key Kites flying.
Mr. G's ( Dave Gomberg) OCTOPUS,  and the Squid, both at 90 feet and a Trilobite at about 50 ft. Kites Unlimited flew a 45 foot Delta.
The Bay Area Sundowners put on several great shows with Hyper Kites, Rev's, and standard two liners.
And Randy Tom and Ray Wong had fantastic kite art they would put up and down all day.
Winds where perfect Saturday and Sunday but sparse for the night fly. 


Around 9:00 AM on Saturday I placed both jars of OKRA pickles on the announcers table and Don Dixon knew exactly what it was for. It seems Mr. G had been telling everyone he came to North Carolina for two reasons. To fly kites and eat OKRA. 

Now I was planning a mid day event and wanted to let the pickles sit in the hot sun for a couple of hours. I then walked down the field to find Mr. G. and tell him the OKRA was at the festival and the camera was loaded, and around noon we would consummate the challenge.

Several announcements where made all morning long about the AKA, WACKOS Okra challenge.
The time had come. I took the microphone and explained to all that Mr. G challenged all at the convention to get new members and Jim Martin the spokesman for the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society said he would get him more than one member but he would have to eat OKRA.

Now Mr. G was hesitant and somewhat reluctant, as people as Don Dixon, and others expressed there displeasure with OKRA. He chose the HOT Okra pickles. And he and I, and a swarm of spectators went to the center of the flying field. He opened the jar, took a sniff, dipped his finger in the juice and licked it off. He pulled out an OKRA pickle when one of the spectators said "take a big one".

Mr. G then told the spectator to pick the one he should eat. And I was posed with my camera ready.
Guys that Hot Okra pickle went down as smooth as ice cream. Mr. G asks what's the problem. He then pulls out another and eats that for a photo session, then takes two from the jar and tells Don Dixon he will eat two at a time and down they go.  He then offers me one, and you guy's know I don't eat that stuff. But how is it going to look if MR. G is eating OKRA and a WACKO passes it up. SO  I eat the OKRA also for a photo shot. You better find another member to join AKA for me eating the pickle. In all I would say Dave ate about six Hot Okra pickles. We then offered pickles to the spectators and from a 16oz. jar I only brought home about 6 pickles and the jar for the Kite Museum.
Now after the ceremony Mr. G was looking for bottled water, but so was I.
It was very evident that Dave Gomberg had every intention to eat OKRA to gain new members to the AKA.

Oh yes I said we lost twice.
The kite fest had a variety of stunt kite games one being the Sundowner Challenge. A one on one round robin challenge to fly a stunt kite and make a two point landing closest to a common stake. A flyer to the left, a flyer to the right, and a common stake in the middle. Dave challenged the WACKOS, I was the only one there, we lost. Enough said.

So Dave came through on the challenge. As further proof, check out the Weekly Updates on Dave's web site,  "I ate it in North Carolina! -  and look at the pictures below.

After Mike's report, Jim sent a note congratulating Dave on his accomplishment.

I understand from Mr. McMullen that you ate the Okra.  Congratulations.

I also understand that you wondered, post eating, what all the hooraw was about -- it wasn't too bad after all, was it?

I had a lot of e-mail about that from folks who eat okra, leading into the weekend -- "Why are you letting Gomberg off so lightly, making him eat something good?"  Well, I got two things to say to that.

First, we let you off easy with PICKLED okra instead of stewed.  Okra is good as pickles (tastes like pickle!), it is good fried, it is good steamed, it is good in gumbo.  It is ONLY nasty when it is stewed with tomatoes -- that's when it gets all slimey and is noticably disgusting.  We figurred making you take one look and refuse to eat wouldn't be much use to anybody, so we went 
with the pickled.

Secondly, however, we knew you didn't know all that.  Okra has a nasty reputation, and although you'd only have to eat it for a few seconds, you'd have to live with the anticipation for WEEKS!  Eating okra is not bad at all -- facing the prospect of eating okra can be mentally devastating.

Now, we are waiting for Mike's pix, then we'll get you your members.  We were inclined to just take Mike's word, but somebody (me, I think) pointed out that every man has his price, and you of all people have the abillity to 
bribe Mike!!! ^_^

I wish we could have all been there to be a part of the fun -- sounds like a great weekend.  When you are next coming to the Southeast, please let us know -- I really want to see GKPI in flight!

Regards and all,


PS:  Mike sez you defeated him in the "Dual Line Land-Next-To-The-Stake  Game."  I had to explain to him about the "Claim victory, ignore the results" strategy.  You'd be surprised how badly you were defeated now....

APS:  Mike shoulda counter challenged you to a mano-a-mano Rok fight.  He came in second at the WACKOS NKM Rok battle -- while wasn't your finish a lowly 3rd at AKA?

If you're wondering, 3 new AKA members have signed up (or soon will be) and one member has upgraded to a family membership. Total yield is SEVEN new AKA members total   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After his tasty repast of hot pickled okra, Dave became a convert and tried to spread the word among the assembled multitude about the benefits of eating pickled okra. Unfortunately, pickled okra is not universally loved.

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