LONG BEACH — Scott Slater released the lines and watched his kite soar skyward and join others in a colorful constellation above Long Beach.
Slater was among dozens Sunday, Oct. 13 near the Bolstad Beach approach participating in One Sky, One World Kite Fly for Peace, an event held annually worldwide and hosted locally by the World Kite Museum to promote peace and global harmony.
Cold War moment inspired Colorado kite maker
The event started after a summit meeting between former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev of the former U.S.S.R. in 1985, when a peace compromise was made that motivated a Colorado kite maker to commemorate the occasion.
The spirit of the event inspired One Sky, One World (OSOW) founder and Colorado kite maker Jane Parker-Ambrose to create a kite celebrating global peace and harmony, according oneskyoneworld.org. Parker-Ambrose created a kite featuring American and Soviet flags which was presented to Russian officials by an American dignitary.
“There were two different countries feuding but here they were sharing the same sky, that’s how the One Sky, One World began, now they’re flying all over the world,” said World Kite Museum volunteer and avid kite flier Raemon Bohn.
“It started in 1985 and the museum has been doing it since the early 1990s.”
Pretty days for kite flying
Approximately 40 people registered for the event, with more joining in sporadically Sunday.
Most came to fly kites, celebrate the occasion, and simply enjoy the calm.
“The relaxation,” said Tacoma resident Scott Slater, regarding his favorite part of flying kites, a hobby of more than 30 years. “Just letting nature take it’s course.”
Days earlier, Slater, 57, attended the American Kitefliers Association convention in Seaside, where he watched his son Kristian Slater win grand nationals at the indoor competition.
For Bohn, 62, flying the faster sport kites is the most fun, but the big kites play an important role.
“Most of us like to fly sport kites because we can get in a big group, but you put the big kites up to get the people in,” he said.
Bohn wishes more people would go fly a kite, particularly the younger generation, but he doesn’t mean it mean-spirited way.
“It’s about sharing this passion with everybody else, and trying to get the younger generation involved. Most of us are getting older now.”