The High and the Mikey

ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- Each evening during our vacation stay, we were treated to an elaborate kite show by an unknown man on the beach. It was truly amazing to see him make the kites swirl and dance in the ocean breeze.

I never had much luck with kites. I've run miles along the surf, dragging balsa wood, thin paper, and rag tails through the sand, yet the air currents were either insignificant or too tumultuous for this boy to get anything up.

Are you finished with your little joke? Okay, I'll move on.

(Sorry about that. My wife proofreads these pages.)

When I was 10, my mother would drive me to a shopping center on Sundays, back when such establishments were closed for the Sabbath -- long before man said, "Suck it up, God, we're opening the Crud Shack."

In the empty parking lot, however, I could run a great distance in a clearing and, with luck, fly a kite.

One day, my dream came true. I achieved lift off. My kite ascended and must have soared 300 feet into the rich, blue sky. I stood there with a big smile on my face, my neck craning backwards so I could see into the clouds, as I gripped that taught, very long string. What a special, special time.

I said to myself, "The Dairy Queen down the street is open."

I let go and moved onto something else.

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