Inspector In The Spotlight: Allen Schimmelmann

In 1985 Allen Schimmelman’s Wife Told Him to “Go Fly a Kite”. Being an Obedient Husband He’s Now Been Flying Kites on the Beach for 30 Years!

Ancient Chinese Kites

Ancient Chinese Kites

Funny how hobbies morph into obsessions. After Allen’s wife Kay bought Allen his first kite he fell in love with kite flying.

It is believed that the kite was the invention of Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban during the 5th-century BC. The kites were made of silk with bamboo frames. In medieval China kites were used for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men for observation as well as signaling and communications for military operations.

The Chinese held a kite dynasty for nearly one thousand years until kites were introduced to Europe by Marco Polo in the 13th –century. When Europeans came to America, they brought kites with them.

Ben Franklin flying his kite.

Ben Franklin flying his kite.

In 1750 Benjamin Franklin proposed an experiment to fly a kite in a storm to prove that lightning was caused by electricity. There is no record that Franklin ever performed the experiment, rather it was conducted on May 10th 1752 by the Frenchman Thomas-Francois Dalibard. And he lived to document the event!

Allen Schimmelmann had a kite flying event that was documented while flying his kites on St Augustine Beach when a police officer drove up to him with lights flashing.

The officer informed Allen that he was flying his kite too close to the driving lane on the beach and proceeded to write him a ticket! Turns out there are laws against such outlandish behavior as flying a kite on the beach!

When Allen flies his kites it always draws a crowd. And the crowd was not happy to see the officer issuing a ticket to Allen. In a respectful show of civil disobedience, the crowd erupted in booing of the officers’ actions.

In a classic act of police restraint, the officer made the compassionate decision to merely issue Allen a warning citation for Allen’s signature.

Allen had a problem when the officer requested he sign the warning citation, both hands were engaged in the flying of multiple kites. The officer demanded that Allen land the kites to sign the citation.

Allen's grandkids with kite

Allen’s grandkids with kite

Respectfully, Allen shared with the officer that he was unable to land the kites due to the risk of injury to the crowd that had assembled to watch the police officer confront Allen the offending kite flier.

The officer disbursed the peacefully assembled crowd so that Allen could comply with the officer’s demand that he land the kites. Once all kites were landed safely on the beach, Allen signed his warning citation, packed up his kites and went home to share with Kay about his day of bad beach behavior. She understood and Allen was not grounded.

After a demanding week of home inspecting, Allen loves to clear his mind and focus on his kites.

Allen's Grandson

Allen’s Grandson

Allen shares, “It takes considerable work to get the kites ready to fly and keep them from getting tangled. When they do get tangled it sometimes requires disassembling them and putting them back together, a very time consuming task, but the reward is worth it once I get them flying.”

What are Allen’s favorite homes to inspect? You guessed it, homes at the beach, especially ocean front homes.

And don’t be surprised to see him flying his kite when the inspection is done. If you ask, he might let you fly!

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