Return to Medical Issues

Letter 1

December 19, 1983

Dan Leigh
54 Osborne Road
Pontypool, Gwent S. WALES

Dear Sirs:
Recently in a study we conducted in our Emergency Department, we found that an excellent way to reduce the stress and tension was kite flying. Some of us have decided to carry this one step further by constructing and designing our own. The not so daring expressed an interest in getting into more elaborate, preconstructed kites and parafoils.

We have encountered a problem in that, although we live in the Los Angeles area, we cannot find any equitable sources of materials and kites. We are looking to companies such as Dan Leigh to help us.

We would appreciate any catalogs and pricing of your products. We are hoping to expand this "up in the air" program to other departments and hospitals that have suffered or are suffering stress related staff "burnout".

It was amazing to us that the answer to this age old problem of burnout was under, or rather above, our noses. We are very excited and would appreciate any help you could offer.

We anxiously await your reply.
Very truly yours,

(J. A.), RN, CEN
Los Angeles County/Olive View Medical Center
Medical Emergency Department
23325 Arminta Street
Canoga Park, CA 91304


Letter 2

23325 Arminta Street
Canoga Park, California 91304

13 January 1984

Dear Mr. Leigh:
You don't know how excited I was to hear from you. You are the first to answer from the U.K. and my gosh, what an answer! I really do appreciate the time and effort you put in to tell me about the different kinds of kites, the photographs, etc. You really did go above and beyond the call of duty.

What you said about not being a good capitalist, I'm not so sure that isn't such a bad idea. Most of the companies that have responded to our request have sent simply brochures, price lists, etc., which is what we half expected. To have someone actua{Iy take the time to sit down and write with all the detail you did still blows us away. I can't thank you enough.

Your past experiences have already proven invaluable. One of the nurses in the department tried to construct a parafoil. He did manage to scale up plans from a book, spent weeks trying to get everything to fit right only to end up having it nose-dive flight after flight. You can see why your insight is so valuable to us.

I have collected quite a bit of information from the few remaining kite manufacturers here in the United States. As you mentioned in your letter, the majority look as if they were meant to be hung in the kite shop, not on the wind.

Although the costs may be quite high, we would just as soon order from you or others there. Due to the nature of the purchase we can deduct the costs from both state and federal income taxes as a business-related expense. The keeping of our sanity is a small price to pay. Believe it or not, it actually is less expensive than the alternatives the hospital itself has come up with.

Continuing Education for nurses and medical personnel is a big enterprise here. We need so many hours of this to be relicensed every two years. They offer many courses in meditation, holistic psychology, Karma awareness, etc. to "reduce the stressors" in the medical field. If you want to make a buck, that is the field to get into. For a mere $400 to $500 dollars you can sit with these people and "get into yourself" to reduce stress. Little do they know that we found something much more simple and efficient, and at a fraction of the cost! You could never market a "Kite-Flying Seminar" here (there's no medical jargon in the title). But through our "grass-roots" we hope to change that at least within our own ranks. You can see why when you speak of $60 for a kite, it is a bargain indeed.

I would like to keep corresponding, if you don't mind. At least we have one person on our side. The Medical Administration at our facility thinks we are nuts... I mean, how can a kite ever hope to compete with a meditating guru with his Karma in line? You'll have to excuse my sarcasm, they really do give us a bad time about our kites.

The two kites that really struck my eye were two of the deltas that you sent photographs of. The 9'10" delta that went to Colorado last year, and the 16' winner at Japan. Can these be special ordered? They are absolutely beautiful. I can just imagine them flying in the winds over Southern California.

I am a great procrastinator when it comes to getting letters off to the Post Office, so I had better end this one here. As I said before, thanks so very much for all your help and insight. It's comforting to know we have someone pulling for us from accross the Atlantic.

Until the next time,

J. A.

(Close this window when through)

©1998-2020 Dan Leigh, 54 Osborne Road, Pontypool, Gwent, Wales, UK NP4 6LX