You have my permission to publish this story on the webpage, just not my name or email address. I wish to remain anonymous. Thanks!
As a lad, I grew up in Plano, Texas, which in the mid-late 1970's was just a small suburb of Dallas. The Dallas Tornadoes were the professional Soccer Team that had achieved quite a bit of popularity in the DFW-Metroplex, of which Kyle Rote Jr. was the star. Soccer was getting as popular as football with kids and there were numerous kids leagues starting up, so needless to say, Kyle Rote Jr. was quite a sports hero to us 9-10 year old soccer playing lads.
As it turns out, a friend of mine learned he attended the same Catholic Church as Kyle Rote Jr., and his private phone number was listed in the church directory. So we took it upon ourselves to try and reach him on the phone. We got his answering service, or an answering machine, can't rightly remember, but we left our names and phone numbers for him to call us back!
Later that evening, sure enough, I got a call from Kyle Rote Jr. himself. He chatted up the 10 year old me like a big brother. I can't really describe the feeling it gave to a 10 year old to get a call from a hero. It was pretty awesome.
Well, about a year later, my dad was taking flying lessons out of a long-since gone small airstrip in Plano, and one of his fellow students was a business partner with Kyle Rote Jr. (no doubt Jokari). My dad told him the story of the phone call to his son, and much to his surprise, (and mine!), after flight school class one evening, he gave my dad, to give to me, a Kickari as a gift. So cool.
Just wanted to share that story with folks to know what a thoughtful person Kyle Rote Jr. was/is, what a class act this unknown business partner was, and their generosity is well remembered.
P.S. Us kids wore that Kickari out in no time. It was well-made, but couldn't stand up to rambunctious 10 year old tortures and the hot Texas summer sun for very long. On the heels of it's demise, I got a Jokari for Christmas about a year later, and it saw many driveway tournaments throughout the early 80's.