About Mike Macdonald

Mike was born and raised in Danville, Illinois. After attending Edison Elementary and North Ridge Jr. High, he traveled to Boonville, Missouri to graduated from Kemper Military School.

After graduation, it was off to southern Florida for College at University of Miami. While adjusting to life surrounded by sun, sand, and beautiful people his interest in photography really began to develop.

Years later after moving to Greely, Colorado he began providing his services providing portraits, portfolios, and event documentation for personal and corporate clients.

One cold, snow covered day in February, a friend said he was going to Tucson, Arizona for the weekend and asked if Mike would like to ride along. Packing some clothes, his 12 String guitar, and his Springer Spaniel it was off to the southwest. After meeting the most amazing women, he hitched a ride back to Colorado to get his car and the rest of his belongings and returned to Arizona.

In July of that year, they moved to Oregon so Kristine could attend and graduate from Optometry School. It was at the Oregon coast that Mike was introduced to Stunt Kites by Steve Lamb (Catch the Wind kite Shops) and Steve Edeiken (Rainbow Kite Company), who were on the beach testing a six stack of the new Rainbow Stunt Kite. That was the day I was introduced to the kite flying philosophy, "everyone you meet is a potential friend and kite flier, so teach as many people you can to fly." I was hooked, we began going to the coast almost every weekend, I would fly every chance I could and was soon increasing the number of kites in my bag(s).

Years passed marriage, kids, relocation to Napa, California and I began flying in Berkley, Marina Green (bay area), and Sand City in Monterey, where there was a great kite shop, (Windborne) run by Corey Jensen. More years and relocation to Tucson, Arizona and discovery of a small kite shop during a lunch break. After promising to return later with a check book which retail is called a "be back", people who talk a good game but rarely purchase anything. Mike indeed returned and purchased all the TOTL kites in stock (6 or 7), and also purchased 3 Griffins. The owner (Joanne) asked Mike if he would be interested in starting a kite club that she and a few other people were thinking of, I agreed and the Coyote Kite Club was formed. The club started a couple of annual kite events, members of the Route 66 Club (Phoenix) and people from New Mexico attended.

Unfortunately after about 2 years the board was more interested in flying than running a club so it disbanded and adopted the name Arizona Free Flyers, the festivals continued for a few more years. Ron Reich had moved to Tucson, and would wow the crowd with his world famous routines.

Mike continued to fly his kites locally and every time he traveled to different parts of the country, Canada and Mexico included. Over the years the kite collection increased in size and the number of kite shops decreased.

Fast forward to February 2006, after having lunch in downtown Huntington Beach, Mike and his brother Scott walked out on the pier to look for a pirate flag, and met Dave Shenkman owner of the Kite Connection. Dave, after realizing Mike was a serious flyer, invited him to Kite Party 4, the following month. Mike packed a few kites, bought a plane ticket, flew to LA and rented a car. Arriving on the beach Thursday afternoon, he again was reminded of the spirit of kite flying while approaching a group of flyers; one quickly came forward and introduced himself as Mike Kory from Illinois. After more introductions to the rest of the group Mike knew he had found his new flying venue. Mike has since loaded his kite bags in his truck and has attended KP5, KP6, KP7, KP8, and is looking forward to KP9 March 12, 13 2011.

Kite Party for Everyone

Each year a loyal audience of kite enthusiasts gather in Huntington Beach, California for a "by-invitation" party sponsored by Huntington Beach Pier kite shop owner Dave "The Kite Guy" Shenkman. His Huntington Beach Kite Party was named Best Kiting Event in the USA by Kite Trade Association International, and is now an institution, recognized as one of the premiere kiting events in the country. (beachcalifornia.com)

There's no competition and no rules - just a lot of people who are fanatical about kites having a good time on the wide open beaches