Kite flying brings back childhood memories

Published 1:01 am Monday, March 15, 2010

NATCHEZ — Two $1 kites were all Melissa Campbell needed to bring back a flurry of childhood memories.

“I spent most of my childhood in Chicago and flying kites was a big thing for (my family) to do,” she said. “(Saturday) was a really nice day to get out and try to get these kites in the air.

When The Dart landed on Brenham Avenue in Natchez, Campbell was assembling kites for her 5-year-old daughter Mekaelyn Campbell and her 4-year-old nephew Dezarrious Johnson.

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“I’ve always wanted to teach them to fly kites, and today seems like a perfect day,” she said. “The weather is great, and it is good for them to get outside.”

Campbell spent a few minutes offering instruction to Mekaelyn and Dezarrious before letting them try it out for themselves.

Winding the string and positioning the handle in Dezarrious’ hand, Melissa offered a few words of encouragement before sending him off.

“Hold it up in the air and run fast,” she told an excited Dezarrious.

He did just as instructed and when his kite caught a little bit of air, he let his excitement show.

“I’m flying my kite,” he yelled. “Look, it’s flying.”

Mekaelyn was just as excited.

“It’s fun,” she said before sprinting off to try to get her kite in the air.

When she failed to get her kite in the air, Mekaelyn returned for more instruction with a little bit of a different attitude.

“That is hard,” she said. “It’s fun, but it is kind of hard, too.”

Campbell didn’t realize how difficult it might be to actually teach someone to fly a kite, but seeing the smiles from Dezarrious and Mekaelyn when the kite caught a little wind made it all worthwhile.

“I just remembered being happy flying kites when I was a kid,” she said. “I didn’t think about what all went into it and trying to teach that.

“But I’m glad we are out here doing this. I want them to have memories like I did.”

The next teaching assignments for Campbell are roller-skating and bike riding minus training wheels.

“I loved roller skating growing up,” she said. “People don’t do that anymore, but I want to get her some skates and get her started soon.

“It’s something that gets her outside and that, when she’s older, she can do by herself.”