A romance that began in their college choir and blossomed with four children is now in full bloom with kites in the sky. Dick and Sis Vogel, residents of The Mayflower Community, Grinnell, Iowa have been flying kites with their kids and grandkids as they grew up.
It developed into an engrossing hobby when Dick retired as a District Court Judge 31 years ago. They attended a kite-flying event in South Padre Island, Texas and were hooked. Ever since, they have been building kites for fun-flying and traveling around the country. In fact, they just finished a new kite (pictured) for this coming Saturday’s “Kites Over Grinnell” event at Grinnell’s Ahrens Park from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
The September 28th fun-flying event, sponsored by the Grinnell Rotary Club, will honor long-time Rotarian, the late Jim Ahrens, who had worked at the gala over many years.
For the Vogels’ kites, Dick builds the frames—some wooden and some metal—and Sis designs and sews the ripstop nylon material. They live in a Mayflower Watertower Square apartment with an open-design great room/kitchen. Sis even uses the island countertop for stitching. Some of their artistic achievements are shown in the attached photos. Their first kite, a traditional triangle, had a 20-foot base.
Dick is a Grinnell native, and Sis is a Moline IL native. He attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport IA while she was a student at the former Mary Crest College, also in Davenport. The two schools had a combined choir, in which both sang.
Sis, who does not disclose her formal first name because it implies “…tall, dark, and sophisticated, and I am none of those!” was called “Sis” at a young age, and it has stuck.
Dick returned to Grinnell to practice in his father’s law firm, Tomasek and Vogel, after graduation from the University of Iowa Law School. In 1978, he was named a judge in the 8A Judicial District where he served for 31 years plus an additional six as a Senior Judge. Sis has her Human Services certificate from the University of Iowa and worked as a family development specialist, with a focus on teaching self-sufficiency.
Their four kids, now all married with kite-flying families of their own, live in Des Moines, Davenport, Illinois, and Texas.
On Saturday, September 28th, Dick and Sis will be on the east side of the GARC flying kites and assisting others to do so. Come join them.