As a young boy I can remember my Dad saying: "The older you get, the faster time goes by." At the time, I thought that was a ridiculous statement; surely time was a constant and moved at it's own regular pace. Usually my Dad was a wise old guy, but this statement always seemed to be incongruous when compared with his usual practical wisdom.
Now, after the passage of many years, I too recognize the phenomenon of time seeming to speed up; to go by more quickly. There are occasions when something occurs and one is suddenly reminded that time has passed by so swiftly.
Recently I was reflecting on the emergence of the Internet and web-based information on the modern kiting scene. In 1990 when commercial Internet services were becoming common place, a series of modest news groups began to link kiters from diverse regions in conversations about kites and kiting.
To me, a person with a then rather obscure hobby of building and flying kites, this was like striking gold. Suddenly there was a location where one could ask questions, find answers and learn about others in the hobby. I learned of kite clubs and kite festivals and began to travel to see some of the kites I was hearing about on the Internet. Grand Haven, MI; Wildwood, NJ; Ocean City, MD; Cleveland, OH - all places with established festivals suddenly became destinations for a new kind of family travel.
By 1998 energetic and visionary kiters were talking about the need for an on-line kite magazine. The gold standard of print magazines, Kitelines, was struggling to put out editions in a regular and timely sequence. By 1996 there was discussion that perhaps there was an opportunity that this new found synergy of kiters conversing on-line could turn into an on-line magazine.
By 1998 Mike Gillard of Columbus, OH turned that talk into action. Founding Kitelife, the online journal of kiting in April, 1998, Mike created a respected gathering place for kite information and the ongoing record of the development of kites and kiting that continues to this day under the direction of his former kite flying team mate, John Barressi (well known founder of the performance kite team iQuad).1
While searching out a bit of kite information I turned to the KiteLife site on the Internet and suddenly it occurred to me again: -time has certainly marched on, and very swiftly.
I came across a series of entries in the early editions of KiteLife that I had authored or that featured photos that I was tagged in. Suddenly 1998 was back before me; could it really be that a decade and a half had slipped by in a blink? How was it that time had moved so quickly. In some ways the stories and images were just like they had happened, seconds ago; in other ways there were clear signs that time had relentlessly rolled on. Perhaps it is true: "The older you get, the faster time goes by."
I have, for the sake of nostalgia, pulled a couple of stories from the early era of KiteLife into this blog posting. Reminisence is good and it brings a flood of memories of times, places and people that mean so much to us and make us who we are. I just thought that I would share some of them with you.
- Moving Along! George Pocock and the Beginnings of Modern Traction Kiting.
- Kite History 101 - Guglielmo Marconi.
- Japan-Canada Fly (Niagara Falls, ON, 1998).
1 Mike Gillard passed away on Feb. 28, 2006. The direction of KiteLife was taken over by John Barresi after Mike's death. It continues today as the premier on-line kiting journal. Ref: http://www.kitelife.com/old-issues/issue-47-empty-spaces-mike-gillard/