The mid-1970s was an era when video games were in their infancy, and board games still reigned.
In 1975, Tommy turned 14. He could outrun and outplay his 7-year-old sister Teresa at just about everything—except Monopoly®.
Teresa loved to play Monopoly® with Tommy —and not just one game—she insisted they play several games, for hours and hours.
Tommy affectionately called it their Monopoly® Marathon.
“Aha! I got Park Place. I’ll buy a hotel. I’m gonna beat you again, Tommy.” Teresa boasted.
“Oh, no you’re not! We’ll play all night if we have to. I need to beat you at least once.” Tommy replied, yawning.
“We’ll see about that! Mom and Dad are playin’ cards upstairs with Uncle Bob and Auntie Irene—and they always stay up real late on Saturdays.”
Tommy suddenly warned, “Oh-oh – here he comes!”
Dad loudly stomped down the wooden basement stairs. Then, Dad teasingly asked, “Are you still playing that game?”
“Yes sir, it’s another Monopoly® Marathon. I’m gonna beat her this time, Dad.”
“You’ll never beat me, Tommy!”
“Well, you both need to get to bed soon. We have to get up for church in the morning.”
“Awww, come on, Daddy! I wanna beat Tommy again.”
“Yeah, Dad, please? I’ll stop lettin’ her win for once.”
“You liar! You never let me win!” Teresa shot back.
“I did too let you win!”
“No way! I beat you fair and square!”
Dad played the peacemaker. “Okay, okay, settle down right now. You can stay up for a little while longer—but not TOO late!” He turned, and clopped back up the steps.
“Thanks Daddy!” Teresa said, giggling.
“Yeah, thanks Dad.”
Then, as Dad, Mom, Uncle Bob and Aunt Irene cackled and conversed upstairs, Tommy and Teresa’s Monopoly® Marathon continued until almost dawn.
Rose-colored sunbeams shone through the windows that Sunday morning. Dad quietly went into the basement and immediately saw Tommy and Teresa stretched out on opposite sides of the Monopoly® board on the floor, sound asleep.
He grabbed a couple of colorful quilted blankets and covered them.
“I beat you…” Teresa muttered, and turned over.
Dad smiled as he saw a stack of $500 Monopoly® bills still clutched in her hand.
The siblings moved to different States after they grew up, but always kept in touch. During that time, Teresa and Tommy sent pictures and handwritten memories via U.S. Mail. When e-mail became available, it was a great blessing, because they saved money on postage. Soon, they were instantaneously sharing pictures and memories.
Teresa lived furthest away from Mom and Dad, and rarely got a chance to see them, except during one of the major holidays every year.
Then, on a Saturday morning in May 2008, Teresa received an e-mail invitation from Tommy:
Tommy challenges you to play Monopoly® On-Line—
Intrigued--with a flashback giggle—Teresa opened it and clicked on the hyperlink provided in the body of the message. Then, as soon as Teresa registered on the Monopoly® website, Tommy received a confirmation via a text message on his iPhone. Within seconds, Tommy went on-line with his iPhone and accepted Teresa’s challenge to play.
A window popped up on Teresa’s computer: Tommy is Ready to Play!
Teresa reached for her pink, bling-studded cell phone and voice-commanded, “Tommy!” and the phone autodialed Tommy’s number.
“Hi Tommy! I miss you.”
“Oh, hi Sis.! I miss you, too. What do you think about the game?”
“I think it’s WONderful. Even though we live so far apart, we can start up our Monopoly® Mora, Marrow—“
“Monopoly Marathon—that’s right, Sis. And tonight’s your night to lose.”
“You’ll never beat me!” Teresa boasted, laughing.
“Oh yes I will--just watch. I am now the Master.” Tommy said, mocking Darth Vader’s voice in Star Wars IV, and ended the call.
Immediately, Tommy speed-dialed his Dad. “She took the bait. We’ll play four games, then I’ll call you back.”
“Aha! I got Park Place again, big Bro.!” Teresa boasted, speaking to her laptop. “You’re gonna lose again!”
There was a gentle knock at Teresa’s front door. “Who could that be?” she wondered aloud. She set her laptop down, then went to the door and slowly opened it.
It was Mom and Dad--and Tommy.
“Daddy? Momma? Tommy? Wha--what’re ya’ll doin’ here?”
Then, Dad asked Teresa, smiling, “Are you still playing that game?”
and handed her a stack of $500 Monopoly® bills.
She laughed, with tears, and hugged them all.
“I finally won!” Tommy joked.
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