The Day I Bought Orville and Wilbur’s Wright Flyer

I have no idea how many versions of the Monopoly game exist, but when I saw they have a Century of Flight “Aviation” Monopoly version available, well, I just had to have it. The only problem was finding others to play it with me. I think my excitement about an aviation version of Monopoly scared them. They know how competitive I can be, and sometimes, well, sometimes I forget it’s just a game. It took some convincing that I wouldn’t stomp my feet in victory or get sullen if I started losing.

Even before we unfolded the board and chose our game pieces I had my eye on Orville and Wilbur’s Wright Flyer. I could practically hear the engine start. I tried hard to avoid looking at that spot on the board as our money was handed-out. I almost chose the helicopter token, but the hot air balloon seemed more poetic somehow. After my friends chose theirs – the commercial jet, airship, and fighter jet, we were ready to go. Or should I say takeoff?

I never knew I could be so good at wheeling and dealing airplanes and parts – of course the fact that I was spending fake money made it much cheaper. I didn’t let on that I wanted the Flyer. I pretended that my interest was in the Stealth Fighter.

When I landed on the Spirit of St. Louis, I had only enough money left for the Flyer, not both. Having to choose between buying Orville and Wilbur’s Wright Flyer or the Spirit of St. Louis – was never a problem I thought I’d have. But I knew what I wanted most. I sweated a few more circles around the board and then I finally landed on the Flyer.

That was the last time and only time I’ve played the game – but Orville and Wilbur’s plane has been sitting next to me on my desk ever since.