NAHANT — After weeks of anticipation, spring has finally sprung and two local retirees are soaring with excitement.
Richie Salvo, of Saugus, and Ronnie Mazzotta, of Stoneham, have been members of Kites Over New England for over 40 years. Both men spend their weekdays waiting for warm weather so they can head to the ocean and fly some of their favorite kites.
“With us being so close to the ocean, we really are spoiled,” said Salvo.
When the sun came out on Monday, the two men packed up and headed to Long Beach in Nahant. Salvo, who says he lost count of how many kites he owned after he reached 50, had half a dozen kites soaring over the ocean during the 60-degree day.
“Today is a great day, if the wind gets over 6 miles an hour it does well but it gets too much for them when it becomes stronger,” said Salvo. “We were here last Wednesday and I froze because it was too cold and I even dressed for winter and was still freezing.”
Salvo favorite flyers are parafoil and flowform 125 kites. When he isn’t living life as a snowbird in Florida during New England’s cold months, you can find Salvo at any of the local beaches. The retired Saugus native’s pastime becomes a family affair as the weather gets warmer and summer vacation begins.
“My children are in their forties and I’ve been flying kites since they were little and sometimes in the summer my wife and kids will come with me while I fly them,” said Salvo. “We do this mostly during the week in the summertime because there’s usually too many sunbathers on the weekend because before the sewage treatment plan got built and they cleaned the water, we basically owned this beach because no one would ever be here.”
Mazzotta and Salvo became fast friends as members of the kite club over four decades ago. Their friendship became even stronger after the passing of their mutual friend, Bob Tatton of Wakefield, who was also a member of the same kite club. The big and beautifully colorful kites are a sight to see for any beachgoers who happen to be passing by.
“Usually in the summertime the kites are kind of an icebreaker with so many people stopping to ask about them,” said Salvo.