Here are the final two posts:
someone asked if I would wait to shut her down as they are "archiving the site" so I can hold off until midnight ... I'll wait until I go to bed tonight (exact time may vary depending on the amount of ... erm, uh ... "adult consumables" ingested)
thank you all for your kind words. it means more to me than I could possibly express. many, no ... make that almost all, of my friendships were formed via GWTW.
I was a customer of Dan's back in the day and when he decided in 2000 to "modernize" the GWTW website he asked me if I would help out. of course, I said I would, never suspecting what that would entail.
Dan, Rob Vreeland, and I worked nine months creating the site. my job was creating the content for every product page on the new site. many, many nights until 4 am. shortly before we unleashed the site Rob had the idea to add a forum. yes, it was a last minute idea, one which I voted no on but Dan and Rob were in. I was active on rec.kites at the time it "melted down". it got pretty ugly and I thought it would be a bad business decision to put your name on something that could go down in flames the same way. boy, was I wrong.
late 2001 Dan was ready to leave the kite business and I was looking at another Christmas season at Toys R Us (I ran the store in Chico) so again I gave a quick yes when he asked me if I wanted to buy GWTW and again ... I had no idea as to what I was getting myself into. in December of 2001, Chris and I became the new owners of GWTW.
when the site was released there was no swap meet. perhaps the best (only?) good decision I made was to create a place where kiters could sell/trade their kites.
man did I take crap for this. manufacturers were convinced that we were killing their sales. Mark Reed at Prism called and actually asked me to take it down. I convinced him it was actually a good thing for him and other kite makers by providing him many examples of kites being sold expressly to get enough money to buy the latest release of "the next kite to save the world".
anyway, what a great ride. so many memorable moments. flying with Mattieu Mayet, Tim Benson, Andy Wardley, Ron Graziano, and many others.
introducing many European kites to North America
selling a number of kites from small home builders (Wayne Knott, Dreamweaver Kites for example)
my longtime business relationship (and friendship) with Ken McNeil/Blue Moon Kites.
I need to write a book ... Confessions of a Kite Pusher
thank you all
Okay so here we go ... more information than I intended to share.
I was willing to let someone take over the form, however the only person I would have trusted with the personal information that is contained in this site and with the good name of Gone With The Wind declined, understandably, to take on the responsibility.
The financial burden is modest by most people standards. But as I mentioned earlier my means are modest and although everyone seems so willing now to support the forum that has not been the case over the past years and I could no longer take the risk that the cost will affect my personal well-being.
There are also a number of technical issues that make the transfer of this site challenging. for one thing the forum software is outdated and desperately needs to be upgraded to a newer version. this requires information that quite honestly I no longer have, or can't remember, or can't find. Whatever.
6 years ago I had a stroke, many of you know that And most people assume that I made a wonderful recovery. Fact is I didn't. I have a number of challenges not just physical but some mental. Which make dealing with this sort of thing extremely difficult and frustrating.
Seriously I'm sorry, okay?
To repeat myself, for many years Gone With The Wind was who I was ... it was what I was. Closing the last piece of it breaks my heart. I have agonized over it for well over two years.
Again I'm sorry.
Perhaps I am feeding a large ego that I never knew I had before and thank you for pointing that out. Perhaps I'm feeling sorry for myself.
This is not what I ever intended to do.
Sometimes life takes us in directions we did not intend nor have any control over.
We used to always say the kite fliers are the nicest people. I used to believe that was true. today has certainly reminded me that kite flyers are the nicest people except for all the assholes.
So with that, I say goodbye and will now lock the forum.
It will be read only as I have agreed to leave it available so that it may be archived.
Thanks for the memories.
Oh, and such a lovely send-off