The sky’s the limit: Local man finds unique hobby in kite-making

Jesse Lamp. 

GRUNDY CENTER – When he was just 8-years-old, Jesse Lamp remembers building a kite with his father and his younger brother.


“The kite was made of wood sticks and plastic, and it was a little shoddy,” Lamp recalls. “When we took it out to fly it, I remember we got it up in the air but then it just slammed down and broke into bits; just shattered everywhere.”


After that, he didn’t really think about kites again for many years.


That is, until 2007, when he visited the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival in Washington, D.C., with his children.


That kite festival was a turning point for Lamp – who grew up and graduated from Grundy Center, and now does IT work for the Waterloo schools.


“It was there that I started talking to kite makers, and I met some really fantastic people,” he said. “I bought a kite and flew it with the kids. Right away, I caught the bug and I wanted to make my own. Growing up, I always was one to work with my hands, and my dad always said it was better to make something than to buy it. So I jumped right in.”


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