Friday, February 1, 2013


By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

My childhood friend Jim invited me to go with him to fly his radio controlled glider recently in the hills overlooking my hometown.

It was a slightly breezy day in Southern California. There was no evil and ferocious hot Santa Ana wind... it was a cool, gentler winter wind. As we stood on a hill overlooking all of Orange County and could see the Pacific Ocean, my mind went racing back to the time when we were kids and the simpler days of flying model airplanes, gliders and kites.

You can learn a lot about life from flying gliders and kites.

The first lesson is: Respect Others Space. Sometimes I would get too close to my brother's kite while we were flying when we were kids. This would result in a tangled mess of string, torn paper and broken wooden cross bows. Get too close in flying a glider and you end up with a pile of broken balsa wood and dreams.

One time while I was in San Francisco I was out walking by the Golden Gate bridge when I noticed a man flying a kite. The kite was so high in the sky I couldn't see it. The kite was so high I'm sure he had to get clearance from SFO. I'm going "Wow, that must be a special kite...that's really far up there". To which he replied, "No I bought it for ten cents in China Town.." which reminded me that Sometimes the Best Things In Life Are The Things That Cost Little Money Or Are Free

I was in the park walking my Labrador Chad recently and I was observing a father flying a kite with his young son and it reminded me of the times when I used to do the same with my kids and how my dad used to teach me about life while flying kites. The little boy hadn't got the idea down quite yet of how to fly a kite properly...but his dad was teaching him. As the kite was in the air, the little boy ran toward the kite as fast as he could...making the kite dive down and crash with a thud into the ground. The dad was there to get the kite flying again and show his son that he needed to walk back letting the air lift the kite into the sky.

A lot of times it's good not to rush so fast into something. A lot of times it's better to step back, reflect and enjoy. And the other thing I couldn't help notice is that it's always nice to have a parent or a good friend to teach life's little strings to speak.

It's strange how I never became a pilot or an astronaut because I really wanted that when I was a kid. When I was a child I used to secretly wish that I could shrink myself and get aboard the kite and soar above the earth....but of course my brother would actually have to fly the kite and that could be a disaster. As I got older my desire to be like the birds lessened. Maybe it was the fact that I was almost involved in two air crashes that kept me out of an airplane for almost 25 years...flight became less appealing to me.

Unless I am at the controls of a kite or a glider. Then the fascination all comes back.

This morning the wind is gently blowing again. It's a good day to fly a glider.

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