Ted Shaw has been involved in kiting for over twenty years. Drawn to kites by viewing their simple beauty as they hung in the air at a kite festival known as "Paint the Sky" hosted by the Great Lakes Kitefliers Society (GLKS) of Western New York, Ted has now become President of the association.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Ted for all of those twenty years. I first ran into him when I was at a kiting event run by GLKS shortly after he had joined the group. He was just getting started then, but his inquisitive engineering mind led hem to ask all kinds of questions about kites, how they were made and how they flew. You could tell immediately that he was going to be serious about this activity.
Over the ensuing years Ted and I became good friends. We have travelled together to over two dozen kiting events, many far afield, and we have thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. He has a dry, wicked sense of humor and we have shared numerous laughs. As it turns out he spent many of his teenage years in Long Beach, Ontario at a summer cottage only a few miles from my home. As we reminisced we told tales of roller skating in the Long Beach Roller Rink and we wondered if we had actually been in the same crowd at the same time even though we did not know each other then.
Ted has become one of the great ambassadors of kiting. He builds most of his own kites, hosts workshops in his spacious barn studio on his property, is involved heavily in GLKS his local club, and travels to many events put on by the Niagara Windriders, the Kitchener-Waterloo Wind Climbers and the Toronto Kite Fliers.
Ted constantly promotes kite flying at these and other events. You will often see him walking along the perimeter of a kite festival field with a kite high on the end of the line. Stopping here and there he passes his kite line into the hands of a stranger and tells them all there is to know about kite flying. Entranced, these folks often break out with a big smile and carry on long conversations. I suspect that for many of them this little interlude is the high point of their day and it leaves a positive image of kiters and kite flying.
The Buffalo News, in its May 19, 2013 edition, did a well deserved feature article about Ted, a fine flyer I am proud to call my friend.