From 1988 – 2007, visitors to the Steele Memorial Library were treated to the kite artistry of Bill Connors. Now, Bill’s kites are flying high again in the Horseheads Library.
Bill, a retired engineer who lives in Horseheads, spent his early retirement years constructing the kites based on traditional East Asian designs. The kites have been exhibited around the world, where they’ve won numerous prizes in competition. Bill gave many of his kites to the library to display so local area residents could enjoy them.
With elegant tails strung across the children’s section, the Song Hong (meaning 2 sections) is reminiscent of early Chinese kites. The idea of mounting a smaller version of the main sail behind it may remind children of a baby bird flying behind its mother.
The 9’X12’ Shirone kite is actually a scaled down version of the giant kites flown in the annual kite battle at Shirone, Japan. Bill’s inspiration for the dancing Indian design came from a copper plate found in Georgia.
“Edo” is the old name of Tokyo. Bill’s Edo-Dako rectangular-shaped kite is one of the traditional Tokyo style kites. He based his design, however, on Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome.
Come to the Horseheads Library to see the Song Hong, Shirone, and Edo Dako kites. If you want to know more about kites, you can also check out books such as Kites for Everyone: How to Make and Fly Them by Margaret Greger and The Usborne Book of Kites by Susan Mayes.
Visit our Facebook page, to see more pictures of Bill’s kites.
Chris Corter, Librarian