With the passing of Virgil Dalton on March 4th, 2001, the San Diego Kite Club lost one of its founding members. Virgil was also one of our most popular members. He was known for his kitemaking abilities,his sound advice on kiting and other matters, his good cheer, and his bad jokes. His daily absence at the kite field will be felt for a long time to come.
In Memory Of Virgil Dalton
by Kathy Aggers
His gnarled, knobby hands clap together along with a shout of encouragement. The kite tips and wobbles aloft. The youngster on the other end of the string flails and stumbles backwards, a look of sheer delight on his face as at last the kite has taken to the air.
His hatted head tilts back, an experienced eye on the stuttering movements of the kite. The old-
“Not just competition, just pure flying ’cause it feels good. Don’t get me wrong,” he adds glancing over at me, “there is a time for that too, but most of all it’s got to be fun.”
Weather worn and wrinkled, his eyes are bright and sparkle with pleasure as the boy on the field whoops in triumph as he executes a new trick. Suddenly the kite crashes. “I’ll get it Virgil.” Another boy trots out to untangle and put the kite right. Virgil waves at the crestfallen pilot. “Life is like that” he says tipping back in the chair, crossing his legs. “Ups and downs.” The kite bounds into the air eager to dance again. He grunts as the kite cruises a bit too close for safety. He gestures the flyer to back up. “If you’re lucky it’s more ups than downs.”
He chuckles and reaches into a carry-
I’ll miss Virgil, bit I have my memories and the windsock his gnarled knobby hands had sewn so patiently. Now when I see a newbie’s kite floundering about on the ground or stuttering through the air, then finally smoothing out I’ll hear Virgil’s voice calling out encouragement, hands clapping and that, life is like that.