Born in the Scottish Highlands in 1880-something, he’s been known as the ‘Kite Gnome’ since just a wee lad. Nobody remembers his given name, and that’s OK with him. After making his way to America in the late 1950s, he built a little cabin and workshop in the hills of western North Carolina, where he made a life with his darlin’ Molly Rose.

Somewhere around 1999, he became friends with a kitemaker who lives down at the base of his beloved mountains. The two will go to kite festivals, and the kite gnome will talk of his days spent flying kites with friends back in the Highlands. He always likes to say that most of his favorite people have come “with strings attached”.

They say he’s been around the world more times than most of us have been around the block. He has stories of flying kites with kings and the penniless. He tells a tale of flying with an American cowboy in England around the turn of the last century. He doesn’t travel much anymore though. He says the last 140 years or so are catching up with him, but I think he just doesn’t like being too far gone from his hills, his cabin, and the little trout stream that runs behind the shop

A few months ago, he started talking about wanting to share a little of the joy he’s felt, and seen in the eyes of countless people around the world flying kites. His mind’s sharp as a tack, and the cabin has a pretty good internet connection, so we set him up with an old computer. He’s taken to drawing stuff and writing down things he finds interesting. He says it’s important for people to remember that kiting’s only partly about kites, but maybe even more so about the people we meet, and the places it takes us along the way.