Great State: Hideaway Hobby. Pizza Shop Owner is Honored for His Kite Flying

Great State
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ENID, OKLAHOMA -- There is a scientific answer for why the wind blows and why it doesn't.

But the people gathered in this big field sought this invisible force for deeper reasons.

"We're out in the open air," said champion kite flier Christian Baden Powell. "We're being artistic."

Members of the American Kite Fliers Association get together every year somewhere in the United States.

They bring 'wind catchers' of all sizes and shapes.

They launch them, fight them, and perform aerial acrobatics with them.

On this afternoon, they remembered friends for whom the string has broken.

It's called the Memoral Flight.

This on is special too because the field is named for the man who brought this group to Enid in the first place.

Phillip Whitaker, a local Enid flier explained, "Richard (Dermer) was the mover and shaker, the 'godfather' of kit flying in Oklahoma."

A lot of people knew Richard Dermer from his restaurant days as the owner of the original Hideaway Pizza restaurant in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

But he and his wife Marti also shared a passion for kite flying.

"Did he live for a windy day," asked a festival visitor?

Marti Dermer replies, "Yes he did. Yes he did." "Kites put a smile on his face."

In 2012 he was here at the festival.

This year his many friends dedicated one of the kite flying fields to his memory.

Dermer's widow Marty thought he might have liked the newly minted sign and the gesture.

After the ceremony unveiling the Richard Dermer Memorial Flying field she said, "I guarantee you his spirit is with us. He's here today."

So why does the wind blow?

As friends lofted their white kites toward heaven they often looked up and wondered.

There is a scientific answer and, then, there is a spiritual one that seems to occur naturally when you watch a kite fly, and you feel a gentle tug at the end of a string.

The American Kite Association National Convention and Grand Master Kite Competition runs from September 28 through October 3 at the Autry Technology Center and Convention Center in Enid.

For more information on the festival including schedule go to

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