Kite Man

Hey, does anyone know where I could find a video of the Kite Man commercial put out by Pacific Power in Portland, OR in the 1970s?  It was a public service announcement aimed at preventing electricity-related injuries due to kite flying.  To this day when anyone says “Ever?” I shriek “NEVER!!” in my head, and when I hear the word “frogs” I immediately think “I like frogs!”   I want to show the video to my children so they will understand me better…!


I just found the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial (the one with Donny Most from Happy Days) on YouTube and showed it to my son – “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!  You got peanut butter on my chocolate!”  I also still hum the “Reese’s PEAnut Butter Cup” jingle when I eat a Reese’s.  And we didn’t even have a TV when I was growing up – we had to watch the neighbor’s TV.  My sister and I must have watched the neighbors’ TV more than I remember!


Why do we remember these unimportant tidbits from childhood and not the more important things?  I was listening to “Radio Lab” on NPR the other day.  The consensus was that our brains are supposed to keep significant details in storage, and fade out the insignificant ones while we sleep.   Maybe I’m just not collecting enough significant details to replace the insignificant in the closets of my brain.  Maybe the closets of my brain are like the closets in my dear grandma’s house – so stuffed with silly things that you couldn’t fit another thing in. 


I cook bacon for my son’s breakfast every morning lately.  The bacon smell swirls stubbornly in the air and won’t go out the open doors and windows.  It refuses to be slurped up into the bathroom fan or filtered out through the fan over the stove.  When I open the door after coming home from taking Benjamin to school I’m enfolded in a bear hug of bacon.  But, it reminds me of my grandparents’ kitchens, and that’s one of those significant, important, comforting memories.  I love that memory, so – hooray, bacon!  And hooray for anything that brings a significant thought out of storage.

11 thoughts on “Kite Man”

  1. I wish i could find that video too. somewhere recently, maybe on a blog here somewhere, i read the words to it and there was a part missing. But yeah I grew up in oregon and southern washington and any1 from those areas will always automatically knowwhat ur talkin about if u say u like frogs.
    Wait a minute! Is a safe kite made of metal ever?(kite man)
    Wire or wet string ever?
    Do you fly your kites around the power lines?
    On the side!
    What about frogs?
    I like frogs
    What if your kite wiiinds around the powerline?
    Call the kiteman! (kids)
    At Pacific Power (smiling kite man)


  2. I too know of this Kite Man. My friends from years ago actually had a Pacific Power KiteMan suit. He was last seen being detained in the Pioneer Courthouse Square basement jailroom and then given a 30 day exclusion for “interfering with an event” (there was no event, just more than 30 people in the Square.) As KiteMan. Honest to God. Friend only identified himself as KiteMan and had no ID on him, cops really couldn’t do anything.
    To the question of the video, in fact, a number of years ago, a former roommate called up Pacific Power. The roomy told the customer service rep that he recalled the PSA from his childhood and that his “‘son’ was flying a kite outside by power lines” and that he thought the commercial would be a good way to drill the idea into the kid’s head that it was a BAD idea. The rep said he would loan it out but that my friend HAD TO RETURN it because it was the only copy. Sure enough we visited the offices and they indeed gave us supposedly the ONLY COPY of the KiteMan PSA. Guess what? LOST FOREVER. Crappy end to this mystery of the KiteMan video, I know, but some stories end that way. Though not really my fault, I still feel bad about my role. Maybe he’ll stumble upon it and post it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Has anybody contacted Pacific Power on the off chance that they did not foolishly loan out the only copy to a couple of douchebag twenty-somethings about 15 years ago?


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