WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls sailing club is a small and close-knit community on Lake Arrowhead. John Kidwell reflected on his journey within this community.
The club dates back to around the start of the F.D.R. era. Some of the family members carry on their parent’s legacies
John Kidwell, the commodore of the club, has been around the club for all of his life.
“I came out here when I was probably five years old and he was a member,” said Kidwell. “You know, we’d come out here on events.”
Kidwell’s father would take his son out on the boats— which sparked the interest in sailing. One weekend, Kidwell recalled taking sailing lessons with Sheldon brown and the other little skippers.
“I would come out here with other younger kids in the junior high grade, and we would have a sail a small sunfish,” said Kidwell.
As most people do, Kidwell left the area for a little while, but eventually he found his way back home when he heard the clubhouse he used to frequent was still racing.
“I saw in the newspaper one day they’re racing out here, and I thought, ‘I’m going to go out there and see what it’s like because I haven’t been out here in a long time’,” said Kidwell.
As fate would have it, while he was watching the race, one of the gentlemen told him that there was a sail boat for sale.
“I came out here, and before I left, I talked to a gentleman, and he said, there’s a boat for sale,” said Kidwell. “I bought the boat and the next thing I know, I’m doing the bottom job, drawing and everything.”
The fire for Kidwell’s passion of sailboats was re-kindled, and he pursued leadership positions within the group.
He was voted in for rear commodore last year, which springboarded him to commodore.
“I was really kind of taken from little to big, I guess,” said Kidwell.