Friday, September 12, 2008

Soar Point

Alas, The Triplane Ain't My Plane

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Last week, I was in Alaska for a few hours, taking the Top Of The World Highway back down into Canada and the Yukon. We pulled into Chicken, which is less than 40 miles from the border at Poker Creek, fo a quick lunch stop.

There I watched a man on a quad bike traverse a flat area near the picnic gazebo. Behind him on the bike he had three children, and one of them was flying this beautiful kite. Its bright colours caught my eyes, but I didn't immediately realise that the kite was in the shape of a World War I triplane.

It was so evocative of the Charles M. Schulz cartoons of Snoopy with his leather helmet, picturing himself as a World War I air ace, taking to the skies against the Red Baron.

Before I could approach the group to ask if the kite was home-made, the father left on the quad bike, blowing kisses and calling out "Love you" to the children.

Unfortunately, strangers can no longer approach children and strike up a conversation with them. But as they ran as fast as their legs would carry them, the kite bobbing up and down in the clear sky behind them, I was able to take these shots with my 300mm lens.

What I really wanted to tell them was to follow their dreams. To tell them that I was a kid once. To tell them that I used to fly kites. To tell them that I dreamed about becoming a novelist. To tell them that when I wrote my first novel, it would include a short but significant segment about a child flying a kite.

More than anything else, I wanted to tell the children in Chicken, Alaska, that dreams can come true, just as the human spirit can soar.


Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

22 comments:

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Stunning shots....You are drawn to colour in your photography, like a dog to water (apologies for the analogy).

I too adore colour and am 'sad' without it, especially as Cumbria isnt blessed with bright or sunny weather!

bring onm ore colour...more sun...more laughter!

Moannie said...

You make me tear up, not only for your stunning pictures, but for the beauty in your soul, and for the sadness of today's world, where good intentions are suspect.

Thankyou for your kind comments.
Annie.

CrazyCath said...

You made the tears prick there. That is one of the best and most beautiful photostories you have composed. (Have I said this before? Maybe I say it every week...lol)

And I agree. It is a sad world where you cannot approach a child and share your dreams and theirs. Sad indeed. I hope their dad reads blogs. ;0)

Adventure Mother said...

Fantastic photograph! You are very right about following your dreams. If you don't believe in youself, no-one else will believe in you!

Elaine said...

What a beautiful story and beautiful photographs. The colours are amazing!

RiverPoet said...

Beautiful kite! I'd love to have one like that.

Peace - D

Maggie May said...

That WAS a lovely story and photo to go with it. I think it is a great pity that we have to shut ourselves away from other people's children just in case the wrong intentions would be interpreted. (And they probably would!) However I think what you would have LIKED to tell them was a really wonderful thing & it brought a lump into my throat!
it's NEVER too late to follow your dreams & I hope that the children you were watching, do follow theirs.

Hilary said...

What beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing that.

MamaGeek said...

Oh Wow. At first, I thought that was an illustration and not a photo because it is so vibrant agains that beautiful sky!

Beautiful words, beautiful shot!

Mandy said...

Beautiful!

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Wow amazing photos. And amazing kites. Makes our homemade versions look rather sad and limp!

Cecily R said...

David, you capture such beautiful images with your words and your camera. Your photos always tell me such a great story, but my goodness you have a way with words as well!

Cecily R said...

Oh, and once again, LOVE the title of this post!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

Amazing colors in the photos - the story is sad, necessary, true, and sad.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love that kite. I would have loved something like that so much when I was a kid.

Second attempt to post. Word verification problem.

Halcyon said...

Love the bright red color.

Great choice for skywatch!

http://magnoliadailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Celebration of Life said...

Even with just a kite, life is worth celebrating, isn't it David?
Jo

aims said...

Indeed - following our dreams is what we should all do. I loved the kite flying segment in Vegemite Vindaloo.

The world does indeed need more dreamers.

Colleen said...

this is a very sweet story David.
But Chicken, Alaska?? I had to read that twice ;-)

Kathryn said...

WOW! That first photo really jumps out at ya. I love it!

i beati said...

You see the best kites !! sk Good Daryl roast aussi sk

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Maybe someone in Chicken, AK will see this post and learn of how you felt. That is a very neat kite.