Recap: Sender finally has the opportunity to tell Wilbur what happened and that he was only taking the blame for giving away the plans to protect the Wright brothers. Wilbur says Orville and he thought he was innocent. They knew he was an Orthodox Jew, and it was out of character for him to do something like that.

“There’s something I want to tell you,” I said.

Uncle Adam and Wilbur both waited.

“Sure, Sender. What is it?” Uncle Adam asked.

I cleared my throat. “I have this secret. It’s been bothering me and well…

“What is it? You can tell us.”

“Last summer, on July Fourth, I took Ruchy to the fireworks. We stayed out late even though Bubby warned me to bring her home early. The next day, Ruchy caught a cold. It turned into a bad fever and it affected her leg. If I hadn’t kept her out late, she wouldn’t have gotten sick. It’s all my fault.”

Uncle Adam put his arm on my shoulder. “It’s not your fault any more than it was Wilbur’s fault for Orville’s accident. We aren’t in control of the world. Hashem is in control. Of course you should listen to Bubby, but it’s not your fault that your sister got sick.”

Wilbur nodded. “You’re uncle’s right, Sender.” There was a catch in his throat.

I wiped a tear from my cheek. “Really?”

“Really,” Uncle Adam said.

After friendly goodbyes, we left the Wright brothers’ house and strode towards the train, and I felt like I’d left behind a heavy load of worries.

Two months later, I was home dreading something. Mr. Corman had told Bubby I could help during winter break. There was a knock on the door. I assumed it was Mr. Corman coming over to tell me when to start work.

I opened the door and I almost closed it again, I was so shocked. Wilbur and Orville Wright were standing there.

“Who is it?” Bubby called.

“It’s the Wrights.”

“Well, let them in.”

I opened the door. Orville smiled at me and then he gave me a hug. “Sender, I’m so glad to see you.”

I told them to please come in.

Wilbur was carrying a big box. “Is your sister here?”

“I’ll go get her.”

Ruchy limped down the stairs. “Ruchy, this is Wilbur and Orville Wright!”

Ruchy shot me an amazed look.

“We brought you something, young lady.” Wilbur opened the box and there was a Van Cleve bike ready to be assembled.

“You have a screwdriver?” Orville asked.

I rushed to the tool chest in the front hall closet.

Orville took the screwdriver and went to work assembling the bicycle. In a short time, a fully assembled Van Cleve bike stood waiting.

Ruchy’s eyes lit with joy. “I can’t believe this. Thank you so, so much!”

“I don’t know how to thank you!” I said.

“You earned it,” Wilbur replied.

“Hope you enjoy it,” Wilbur said to Ruchy.

“Thank you! Thank you!”

“Well, we’re heading back to Dayton. They’ve planned some parades and a medal.”

“Mazal tov. I mean congratulations!” I said.

“Yes, and Sender, thanks for all your help. I hope that you, your sister, and your grandmother will come to the parade.”

I turned to Bubby.

“We’d be honored, sir. Thank you,” Bubby said.

Bubby brought in the tea pot and some cookies. We had tea and cookies together and Wilbur told us about his trip to Paris and the people he’d met.

“How did you do it? Invent something no one else could do?” I asked.

“There’s a famous quote that I think explains our success. Of course, G-d was the main factor. But Virgil said, “Birds think they can fly, so they fly.” Wilbur bit into an oatmeal cookie.

Wilbur touched my arm. “Always follow your dreams and don’t let anyone discourage you.”

Orville whispered to me as they were leaving. “I knew you would never do anything to hurt us, Sender. You’re a religious person and you’re our friend. I’m sorry you went through all that. By the way, when you come to Dayton, stop by and visit. Melody would love to see you. She’s taken residence outside our home.” He winked at me as they left.

I spent the rest of the day teaching Ruchy how to ride the bike.

That night, I asked Bubby if I could please speak with her.

“What’s on your mind?” she asked.

“Bubby, I appreciate everything you do for us. I want to explain that though Mr. Corman is very kind and patient, I don’t want to pursue a career like his. There’s a dream I have, and I want to hold onto it and do it.”

“What is it?”

“I want to be a writer, Bubby. I want to work as an apprentice at the local paper and I want to become a reporter and also to write books.”

There was a long silence and then Bubby kissed my cheek. “Hashem should help you, Sender, to follow your heart and your dreams.”



Epilogue – Ezra

I closed the journal. “Ezzie, it’s such a good story. Everyone should know about the Wright brothers.” Mickey ran his hand over the cover of the journal.

“That’s it! Mickey, you gave me my idea. I’m going to write about their story for my writing club project. Thanks, Mickey!”

The day of the writing exhibit came. My parents and the Arons came with Mickey. They left Tori with a babysitter, which I thought was a wise choice.

Betzalel poked his head into the auditorium and motioned to me. “I’ll stop by during the recess break. Your project looks amazing!”

Danny was standing next to my show board, studying the photos of the Wright brothers’ flyers and gliders and my essay. “Your project is the best one!” he said.

Mickey ran over to me, and I lifted him up so he could look at my project.

“It’s because of you that I thought of doing it, Mickey!”

Aba strode over and shot photos of me with the project, and of Mickey and me with the project.

Rabbi Kleiner and Mr. Rabinowitz approached. “Your son did a beautiful job,” Rabbi Kleiner said. “We knew he would.”

“He’s won a first-place blue ribbon,” Mr. Rabinowitz said.

Just then, Betzalel appeared and he put his arm on my shoulder. “That’s my little brother!”

When the Arons and Mickey were busy looking at someone else’s project, I whispered to Aba. “You know, something you taught me is true. When you do a chesed, it comes back and helps you. At first, I didn’t want the Arons in our house, but really it was because of Mickey that I got the idea to do my project on the Wrights.”

“Baruch Hashem!” Aba said.

“Yes,” I said. “Thank you, Hashem!”


The End

Next week, look for the first installment of the next historical fiction serial by Susie Garber: Lift Off.

By Susie Garber