When I was a kid, about this time of year the stores would all have inexpensive kites available. Kids would be out flying them if there was the slightest breeze, or even gale force winds; our parents never knew where the hell we were, or what we were up to. I guess they knew most of these kites were only good for a few inept launchings. What could go wrong? If I was able to get one aloft for like twenty minutes before I lost interest and went down to the high school to watch the rich kids fly their R/C airplanes, that was a good day.

Storekeepers knew that the winds of commerce only allowed for a relatively short kite season. They were just waiting for the Duncan Yo-yo rep to stop by to get an order in advance of the school assemblies featuring the guy who could “walk the dog” and all those fancy Yo-yo moves. Then the smart shopkeeper would also get extra Band-aids and lamps, and call cousin Kenny who is in the window-glass business.

I don’t know how this whole system fell apart, but my world is poorer for it.