The first time I met Sean Beaver we only talked about kites.
I had been hired through the college to handle marketing and advertising for the Kite Festival they hold here in the Spring. Now, in its fourth year, they were looking for a little outside help to get the word out.
"I have never needed kites more than I do right now," he said in that meeting in January.
There were about 20 other people in the room and I was probably the only one who did not make the connection.
You see, Sean's brother was shot and killed as he was walking to work back in December 2009. The news made headlines as cops vowed to catch the killer and the community rallied around him and his family for support. But at that first meeting I had no idea that gravity of what he was telling me.
I would never dream of asking clients if I could write about them here, but Sean's message and the work he is doing is far to important, I think, not to share.
It would have been easy for Sean to shut off from this city and what it had dealt him and his family. Instead, as the president and mastermind behind the Kansas City Kite Club he became more involved and has continues to work everyday to maintain the largest kite club in the Midwest.
Not to mention Sean continues to sew and build all of his own kites, some as big as two-stories houses, by hand. Seems some in the city are starting to recognize his work as it flies overhead.
But outside of all that, Sean said just this week that as temperatures are rising and the winds are picking up he couldn't be happier outside flying one of his kites.
Although we talk about more than just kites these days, his message is still the same:
"When you are flying a kite you have to look up. That's what's important," he said. "No matter what."