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AKA Featured Flier – Wayne Dowler

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: Wayne Dowler aka “The Blue Man” or more recently “Tin Man”! I wear glasses and/or goggles most of the time to keep sand out of my eyes! Hate looking through streaky lenses! I live in Clackamas, Oregon. Wet is normal!!

I’ve survived a stroke, 2 heart attacks, and both hips replaced. Nothing burns me like hearing someone in good health – tell me they can’t! One of my motto’s – “if I can – why not you?”. For me, flying has been therapy. I flew for years before my stroke. Sitting on a couch, watching TV, didn’t seem like any way to wait for the inevitable. Helped a lot after I got the new hips – fresh tires on an old pickup! Got back on the beach, made a whole bunch of new friends and regained a few old ones along the way! Then I discovered team flying!! I was terrible at first! No idea on any of it, just knew I wanted in! Now a member of 2 teams! And then – indoors!! Thank Amy Doran for this – she got me started!! One weekend at an indoor fest, she setup a Skate, gave it to me to use as much or little as I liked! Rest is history! I found my soccer center to fly at – and 5 years later, still at it!

I guess an easy way to sum all this up, at least for me – is that flying gave me back a purpose, an inner sense of worth, confidence in my ability to overcome! Sure I have limitations, but I’m always pushing them as far as possible.
2. Why did you join the AKA? Honestly? I was asked! Had flown for many years without joining, but was asked by an RD to join – and I did.
3. What is your favorite kite to fly? Easy – a Revolution kite!
4. Where is your favorite place to fly? Depends on weather and time of year! Outside – it’s the coast. Smooth, steady winds most days, but not always!! Indoor – my local indoor soccer center! Found it needing a place to fly indoors – 5 years later – still going strong!
5. If you could fly with anyone dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you fly? Love flying team with my Rev with Terry Wiggill. Just love the flow! Both of us are usually too busy to get much flying time together!
6. What is your favorite event or kite festival? Easy – WSIKF A whole week of kite flying fun!!! Pretty hard to beat!!
7. What is one thing you wish more people knew about kite flying? The fun! Yes, I used it as therapy after my stroke, but more folks need to experience the simple pleasure of flying a kite!
8. What is the best color combination for a kite? Best? Anything blue!
9. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Did I mention BLUE??!!??