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2. its surface impermeability to air ; 3. its low cost, and finally the ease with which it is applied to the frame. Another advantage of paper is the fact that the finished kite can be more easily and successfully repaired if the paper cover becomes torn by wind or hard usage.

Tissue paper such as is used for wrappings makes an excellent kite cover. The softness and pliability that characterize the good grade tissue lend themselves to kite construction. For all small kites it is a preferred material. The wide range of color in which tissue can be purchased also adds to its advantage; beauty is an angle to be considered in kite craft. Many of the Chinese and Japanese decorative papers make exquisite as well as strong and durable kite covers.

The choice of material to use, however, holds a definite relation to the size of the kite being constructed. The larger the dimensions of the frame, the stronger and leavier the cover must be. The ratio of paper strength must be maintained as the length of the kite arms increases. For larger kites, rice, manila or large sheets of bond paper may be employed to advantage. Wrapping paper from the corner store is not to be despised; it is used very often in the making of kites at home.

For large kites and for those to be used where winds are high and strong, fabric should be substituted for paper. Though more durable, fabric is not applied to the frame with the same ease, nor is it so easily repaired when it is torn or ripped.

More exactness and care must be used by the kite craftsman in using fabric as a cover. Certain new problems are presented. One is the permeability of fabric to air. In choosing the fabric lightness of weight and closeness of weave are essential. Permeability to air is decreased by painting the flying surface. Thin varnish or shellac may be used, or rubber cement will fill the crevices between the threads of warp and woof. The best material, however, for painting the surface of fabric kites is the so-called “dope” used by airplane factories to coat the wings of planes. The application of liquids for protection to fabric causes shrinkage, and this must be allowed for in covering the frame with fabric. More allowance must be made where airplane dope is used than the other liquid protectors.

After the cover material has been selected, be it paper or fabric, it should be placed flat on the work table. Lay the frame of the kite on the material and draw the pattern. When this is cut an inch should be allowed on all four sides. Fold this margin over the wire edge of the kite frame, being sure that there is no pull at any place. Glue down the margin, using no more glue than is absolutely necessary to control the edge.

When the margin has been folded and glued, the kite surface should be fat and smooth. It should appear taut but not tense. It must never be tight enough to buckle the frame out of shape. Keep the fact clearly in mind that the surface of the kite is to be presented to the wind; the flatter




the surface the easier the kite will ride the air, as any unevenness slows up the fight. Just as the sticks must be evenly balanced to produce balanced flight, so must the covering of both the kite surfaces, upper and lower, be smooth and evenly distributed if a perfect flying machine is to result.

The Bridle. The main body of the kite having been made, the next problem is the arrangement to control the machine while in the air. The method used is an attachment called a "bridle" which is string attached to the kite frame. The bridle is the steering gear of the kite flying machine.

The proper placing of the bridle is of utniost importance. If the steering gear of an airplane were incorrectly installed the pilot would lose control of his machine in the air. A similar result happens when the bridle is incorrectly placed in a kite. The laws of balance, of weight and of gravity must all be considered in installing the steering gear.

For the square kite the bridle is composed of two strings. Each string is exactly half as long as the circumference of the kite. These strings are attached at opposite corners of the frame. They are then brought together at that point above the surface of the kite which is exactly one-third the distance from the point of the kite measured along the center line. The string of the kite is attached to the bridle where the two parts meet. The string may be as many feet or hundreds of feet as the maker chooses. For flying, a reel is recommended; this aids in controlling the kite from the ground, preventing snarls and adding to the ease in paying out and reeling in the line.

One of the most important features of square kites is the tail. Such a tail must not add much weight. The scientific reason for its addition is the added air resistance it gives the kite. This air resistance --- so-called surface friction - provides the balance of the kite.

More tail can always be added. In flying, the less tail, the more sport.

Other types of tail can be used. There is one style which consists of paper cups attached to the tail string; these were very much in demand during the war. The small American boy seems to prefer a tail made of paper bags. The one of folded, tied and fanned out papers is the easiest to make and will prove the most consistent in performance. There is also the possibility of making the kite tail more attractive through the use of colored papers of different shades.

The types of kites that may be made by the home craftsman are so many that they cannot be listed in a short article. Even the profile figure kites so much favored by the Oriental nations may be constructed by any one with even a slight talent for drawing in outline.

Of course a kite may be bought. Kite manufacturers abound in the land. But what boy-or even grown man who is but a boy at heart-can a purchased kite, even though one of the glittering Oriental ones, hold the place in his interests and affections with one of his own creation? With every pain he takes in construction, with every effort he bends to balance the one he "crafts," with every thought he directs toward perfecting its flight and its decoration, the kite craftsman is adding to that store of knowledge which will aid him in living life and in using leisure with satisfaction-true recreation.

The Tail. The making of the tail is simple. Pieces of paper about four inches by six are folded into accordion pleats and tied a foot apart, along a string. Such a tail is excellent to add to the valuable surface-friction. When the papers have been attached to the central string, fan out the ends of the paper as one would a bow tie. The amount of tail needed to add balance to the kite depends upon the amount of wind encountered. Thirty feet of tail is a fair average for a start.

Since the days of Benjamin Franklin conditions have changed greatly. Our cities and urban areas have required the erection of many cables, high tension wires and transformers, and these are potential sources of danger for kite flyers. The good kite flyer, like the good aviator and the careful motorist, observes safety rules. Here are a few of them :

Wire should never be used as kite string, tail connection, bridle, or to lash sticks together. Nor should metal of any description be used in kite construction. If used, serious injury may follow if the kite becomes entangled in electric power lines. Lash sticks together with strings: do not use nails, tacks or brads.

It is much safer not to fly kites immediately over or near electric wires, and no attempt should be made to remove a kite caught over electric wires, or in trees near them. Never climb a pole to remove a kite or string.


For the Price

of a Single Movie!

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A community mobilizes its forces and in no uncertain tones declares for a yearround recreation program!

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OR THE PRICE of a movie to.

the average home owner in

the city, Decatur, Illinois, now has a tax-supported recreation system. Voted on favorably

Courtesy Community Recreation Association, Decatur, Illinois by the citizens on October 13, 1936, the new tax climaxed an eventful year in the recreation program of WPA made possible nearly 85 per cent of the proDecatur.

gram for the year of demonstrating the possibiliEarly in the year Charles K. Brightbill, for- ties of city-wide, year-round recreation. merly associated with the Recreation Department of Reading, Pennsylvania, became Superintend- The Association Reports the Year's Progress ent of Public Recreation in Decatur where recrea- The annual report of the Community Recreation is sponsored by the Community Recreation tion Association shows the recreation program Association, a group of private individuals. One

expanded to twenty playgrounds, seven commuof the new Superintendent's first undertakings nity centers and ten gymnasiums open winter and was to make the community conscious that the

fall, a summer day camp, a picnic service, an inrecreation program should be on a year-round formation and bulletin service and twelve new basis and not be merely a summer playground pro- parent and playground associations. There was a ject. To this end a large poster was made depict- participation of nearly three-quarters of a million ing the various parts of a community recreation in the various recreational activities for the year. program and bearing the words "Your Commu

High spots on the program included a band nity Association offers the entire family a more concert on each playground once during the seaabundant life through its playgrounds, gymnasi- son, weekly Tuesday night folk dance festivals, uims and community centers.” This poster was playground leagues and tournaments in games and placed in the City Hall, public library, schools, sports, a "Come and See Day" for parents, a churches and down town stores so that many peo- story-telling contest, a parade of children and the ple might see it and learn to think of recreation as grotesque Mardi Gras heads and lighted floats and year-round in scope. But posters alone could not lanterns they had made, and a playground parade sell a year-round program. The existing program of 3000 children and adults. The Municipal Playwas expanded so that the service might, through ers were encouraged and assisted and other drama wider participation, convince more of the need groups helped. Glee clubs, rhythm bands and orand value of such a program. Rapid expanse on chestras were formed. A two-week training instia budget of $7,306 a year was difficult and the tute for leaders preceded the expansion of the



program and another of two weeks duration was School children carried home mimeographed notes held before the opening of the summer play- to parents and wrote essays on recreation. Autogrounds.

mobiles appeared with posters and yellow stickers

"Vote Yes Playgrounds Tuesday, October 13" on The Recreation Referendum Campaign

the spare tires. Even the morning milk bottlesSo successful was the program, coupled with 14,000 of them — carried the appeal on a paper carefully planned and organized publicity starting cuff "Milk and Exercise-Health. Vote Yes Towith the posters emphasizing year-round recrea- day for Playgrounds." tion, that in October 1936 the people voted a tax The message was carried by word of mouth for recreation of a minimum of two-thirds of a through talks or speeches. During the month premill on each dollar of assessed valuation on prop- ceding election day talks were given in every puberty within the city limits. This tax will provide lic and parochial school in the city, in every an income of approximately $18,000 a year at a church, to twenty large industries and stores in cost of 39 cents or less than the price of a movie the city and to forty-five organizations and govto the average home owner. In April 1935 the erning bodies. Five radio interviews were artax had been defeated; in October 1936 it was ap- ranged with the heads of important departments proved by more than a two to one vote.

and organizations including the President of the The carefully worked out campaign accom- Junior Association of Commerce, the Mayor, the panying the program and interpreting it did much Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, the to win the day for recreation in the Decatur elec- Chief of Police and the President of the City tion. It was planned to carry the need for ade- P. T. A. Council. A large number of people were quate recreation to the people in a number of reached by special amplified messages to large ways in an attempt to reach the very largest num- groups attending play nights, softball championber of people possible. During the month before ship and high school football games. the election date especially concentrated efforts A house-to-house canvass using 500 block were made.

workers and 37 precinct captains was made of Newspapers ran daily stories during the month every home in the city. Every square block was before the election. Public endorsements of rec- covered by a person living in it. Precinct captains reation were made in the paper by such men as

were officers of the P. T. A., members of neighthe Mayor, Chief of Police, President of the borhood recreation clubs and prominent citizens. Ministerial Association, President of the Com- Block workers also were enlisted from P. T. A. munity Chest Board and by the American Federa- groups and neighborhood clubs. Each voter was tion of Labor. Articles on recreation appeared on urged to support the recreation tax and confidenthe sports, editorial and society pages, and com- tial reaction sheets were turned in by each worker. mercial firms included statements of approval of Besides the barrage of written and oral marecreation in their paid advertisements.

terial, extensive exhibits were prepared giving a Written appeals other than newspaper stories

picture of various aspects of the program. They were many and varied. Letters of approval of were set up in down town store windows a week tax-supported recreation went out over the signa

before election and remained all the week. Exture of prominent men to ministers, picnic or

hibits included handcraft activities, model airganizations, athletic teams and restaurant owners. planes and boats, music and drama and athletics. Signs and posters were provided for streets, ser

One exhibit showed a miniature baseball diamond vice stations, theaters (on the screen) and restau

and a jail. Figures showed the high costs of rants. Children carried posters on the street read

crime and the low cost of recreation. Another ing "Neglect in 1936 means

exhibit consisted of a puppet trouble in 1946" and "RecreaAny community planning to conduc:

show in a store window giving tion isn't a frill; it's part of a referendum campaign for a year

sidelights of recreation with us.” Handbills were distribut- round recreation program would do the help of a loud speaking ed with the following titles: well to take a leaf from the experi

system. Puppets did folk "Can we let this happen?" ence of Decatur, Illinois, where a

dances, tumbling, played in plan worked out with the greatest "Welfare of School Children" care and put into operation through

swings and with balls, and beand "Why Business Men the cooperation of many community

tween acts carried cards across Should Support Recreation." groups, had a gratifying outcome. (Continued on page 48)

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By KATHRYN C. KEPPELMAN Supervisor of Dramatics and Story-telling Department of Public Recreation

Reading, Pennsylvania

HE GYPSIES ARE COMING, the Gypsies are coming.” With this joyous cry all regular

activities of the playground stopped and the children, tall and small, rushed to greet the band of Gypsies coming down the street in their rickety old black cart drawn by the most beautiful painted horse you ever saw! Was it the horse that first attracted the children? Perhaps. Or possibly the Romany tunes fiddled by the little Gypsy maiden who played as she rode, dangling her pretty feet over the back of the cart. But in all probability the ones who first gave the warning of the Gypsies' approach had been watching for them eagerly and had spied the cart when it was still a black speck in the distance.

For this was no regular Gypsy band, no band of rovers, but a group of friendly Gypsies who brought joys untold to the boys and girls of the playgrounds of Reading, Pennsylvania, through their stories of magic and romance. Indeed, they were no real Gypsies at all! And among them was the Recreation Department's itinerate story-teller, who visited the playgrounds twice during the season, spending about an hour on each lot telling stories chosen especially for the particular group.

tion by furnishing judges for the annual story contests, and by sending volunteers from their group to the playgrounds to tell stories to the children. While the Department appreciated the cooperation and the children benefited by it, a definite need for an itinerate story-teller was felt; a need for someone with training and experience, someone who understood boys and girls, who could give practical help to the leaders.

An appeal to the story league resulted in its financial cooperation to the extent of half the salary of a professional story-teller, the other half, together with the cost of transportation, to be paid by the Department. Mrs. E. K. Shollenberger, one of the members of the League who is widely known for her ability and charm in story-telling, was chosen for the work.

Realizing the appeal of costume, it was decided that the story-teller should dress in Gypsy attire. At first she 'traveled a-foot, making her trips alone. Later, her daughter, an accomplished vio

How It Grew In former years, the Reading Story League cooperated with the Department of Public Recrea

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