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Flying high

Grandfather’s kite inspires book about decades-long hobby

Created date

January 5th, 2018
Brooksby Village resident Jim Kusch (left) and his grandson Patrick Boufford at a book signing for Patrick’s book Puppy’s Kite, inspired by Jim’s kite-flying adventures.

Brooksby Village resident Jim Kusch (left) and his grandson Patrick Boufford at a book signing for Patrick’s book Puppy’s Kite, inspired by Jim’s kite-flying adventures.

 

When Jim Kusch and his wife Jackie downsized from their Saugus, Mass., home and moved in 2005 to Brooksby Village in Peabody, they brought along Jim’s kite, now a treasured family heirloom.

That kite inspired the couple’s grandson Patrick Boufford to write and illustrate a new children’s book, Puppy’s Kite.

“Patrick started calling me Puppy when he was young, and the name stuck,” says Jim. “That’s what all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren call me.”

Kite-flying in the Kusch household dates back to the childhoods of Jim and Jackie’s three children.

“I built box kites out of newspapers to entertain the kids,” says Jim. “More often than not those homemade kites would end up on a roof somewhere, but we had fun.”

Unique travel log

Years later, Jim’s son gave him a brightly colored kite as a gift.

“The kite has 2,000 feet of line, so it goes up pretty high,” says Jim, who began taking the kite with him when he traveled. “No matter where we went, I’d take a few minutes and fly the kite.”

Jim flew the kite at a blueberry festival in Nova Scotia, at the Grand Canyon, and off the back of a cruise ship in Alaska, among other adventures.

Each time it flew in a new place, Jim wrote the location on the kite. Today, the kite is a unique travel log, chronicling decades of family vacations.

Most often, Jim flew the kite on Cape Cod, where he and Jackie own a timeshare.

“I’ve flown the kite with my grandchildren and now my great-grandchildren,” says Jim. “It’s become a family tradition.”

Capturing family history

Told from the kite’s point of view, the book tells of its high-flying adventures with Puppy.

“Patrick worked on the book for years,” says Jim. “It’s rewarding to see it come to life.”

After the book’s release, Jim and Patrick held a book signing at Brooksby.

“It’s fun to look through the book and see decades of memories,” says Jim. “I never imagined that flying a kite would be something I’d share with my children, my grandchildren, and now my great-grandchildren.

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