Growing up during the early years of the Space Age(Sputnik was launched just 1 year before I was born) I was fascinated by astronauts and rockets, which lead to building the plastic model kits of all the space capsules, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and of course the Saturn V and the Lunar Lander. I wasn’t very good at it, I used way to much glue, and never painted them, but they were still very cool, to me anyway. I wish I still had some of them.
As I grew into my teen years I discovered that the pioneers of flight didn’t start with Yuri Gagarin, but there were guys like Charles Lindberg and of course, the Wright brothers. Because I had “grown up” and building plastic models was for kids, I decided to tackle a balsa wood model kit of the 1903 Wright Flyer. I used way to much glue, the wood stuck to the paper, and I made a lot of mistakes. I quit out of frustration before I finished one wing. I bow my head to the people who are able to build those models.
I still wanted a Wright Flyer, and about 10 years ago I started looking at the airplanes that the Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint were producing. The Danbury Mint had a Wright Flyer for about $100, but I could never talk myself into spending that much money. But after discovering the wonders of Ebay, and fresh off my Lou Gehrig purchase, I went looking for a Wright Flyer. I found a brand new, in the box, Danbury Mint Wright Flyer with an opening bid of $19.99 plus $4.99 s&h. I put in a bid, prepared to go as high as $30. Luckily, no one else put in a bid, and for $25 it was mine. Sweet!!
I couldn’t have been happier. This model has a 15 inch wing span and is made of strong polymer plastic, and is rendered to the finest detail. It looks like it could fly right off my bookshelf.
I have a mental list of what I would save in case of a house fire, and my Wright Flyer sits firmly in the top 5. It fluctuates between my Ron Guidry autographed baseball and my Princess Diana Ty Beanie Babie…….Hey, those things are making a comeback….you’ll see….you laugh now….but who’ll be laughing after my house burns down……me, that’s who!!!!