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An afternoon with Alpena’s kite expert

ALPENA, Mich. — If you regularly visit bay view park, you’ve likely met a gentleman flying kites. You may have even met him in the winter. WBKB took some time to ask him about his hobby.

Rob Eisenman said his love affair with kites first began when he was ten years old. His father brought home an extremely long line from work, which Eisenman used to get his kite two miles in the air, much to the annoyance of nearby pilots. Now, 50 years later, Eisenman flies kites almost every day of the year – even in the winter.

He said getting out and flying kites is his way of staying healthy.

“I lost 35 pounds last year. In the winter. During COVID! That’s pretty much not heard of for a 60 year old man. So it was mostly my health that I was concerned with. Not to mention it’s fun— I’d rather fly kites than be on a treadmill.”

Park regulars— especially kids— are always happy to see Eisenman out and about. However, he’s also made some unexpected admirers.

“Eagle kites are my favorite. They tend to mimic nature. The seagulls love the eagle kites. They divebomb these things sometimes— different types of birds.”

Eisenman said he’s always glad when an eager kid asks him how they can fly a kite. He gifted over 50 kites to his pupils over the past year, and hopes to spark a love of the skies in the new generation.

Rain or shine, you’ll almost certainly find Eisenman adding color to the skies.