The World Kite Museum remembered Kay Buesing with an exhibit during the Washington State International Kite Festival when a plannned in person open house memorial was cancelled due to the upsurge in Covid cases in the area. Kay passed away in February 2021 at the age of 86. Kay and her husband Jim operated the Long Beach Kites shop before she became the founding executive director of the World Kite Museum. The museum is her legacy to the community and the world after over two decades of effort that began with the conversion of Mrs. Colter’s hotel into a museum in the 1980s then on to the establishment of a new building in 2005 that has shared the world of kites by exhibitions and events as well a great gift shop to visitors year round. I was planning to attend the open house event but decided to share a few photos on this blog as well as announce our donation of our children’s book in honor of Kay Buesing to the Pacific County Branches of the Timberland Regional Library.
I met Kay and Jim in the 1980s and we went to China together in 1987 to the 4th International Weifang Kite Festival as members of the American Kitefliers Delegation led by David Checkley. David and his wife Dorothea loved Long Beach and they gifted their amazing kite collection to the World Kite Museum. You can also learn the story of kitefliers from around the world at the museum’s Kite Hall of Fame which Kay was inducted in 2003.
In 2017 I returned to Weifang 30 years after our visit to participate in the event again with my son Chris who lives in Dalian, China and we celebrated the birth of our first grandson that spring with Chris and my daughter-in-law Lynn Xiaoyu Wang who have since added another son to the family in 2020 during the Covid Pandemic in China. At home in the USA my daughter Jenny and husband Jake had our first granddaughter in 2017 and a grandson in 2019 which now brings the latest generation of kite fliers to four grandchildren living in China and the USA. This intergenerational story inspired our bilingual Chinese and English illustrated children’s book, “The Kite That Touched the Sky”, published in 2020. I shared a preview copy with Kay as she retired from the World Kite Museum a few years ago.
We decided to donate copies of our book to the Pacific County branches of the Timberland Regional Library in memory of Kay so that young kitefliers in the towns of Ilwaco, Ocean Park, Nasalle, Raymond, South Bend and at Shoalwater Bay Tribal Community Library can read our story. We hope you will enjoy our story about children, a peek inside the World Kite Museum, and everyone having fun with kites in the sky at the World’s Longest Beach where Kay will always be remembered as forever flying with us.