Brookline's 1972 Kite Flying Ace
Back in the summer of 1972, kites were flying high around the Brookline Recreation Center as Chuck Senft and his high flyers were gearing up for the city-wide Parks and Recreation kite flying contest at Point State Park. Randy Aul, 11, from Daleview Street, was one of Chuck's Aces. He worked all summer perfecting his craft and his skill.
At the competition, Randy's encountered some initial difficulties when his precision-crafted kite became entangled in the trees. Undaunted, he ascended the tree with deft skill to retrieve his kite. A Pittsburgh Press photographer happened to be there to capture the moment.
With his kite still intact, Randy made the best of his second chance and went on to finish first among over 250 contestants.
The story should end there, but irony sometimes has a place in history. Chuck Senft never threw anything away. One day, in 2005, when cleaning the deeper corners of the Recreation Center building, I came across a worn, broken kite that looked very old. It was thirty-three years old to be exact. Written neatly on the balsa wood frame was "Randy Aul - 1972." Sorry, Randy, I wish now that I had saved it.
* Photo provided by Randy Aul *
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