Classic Monopoly - The Green Head
Monopoly wasn't one of my favorite games growing up; mostly because my left-brained brother usually clobbered me. There was one detail of the game, however, that I learned to love.
My grandparents worked for Union Pacific Railroad out of North Platte, Nebraska. One year, my family even rode the Union Pacific from California back to a reunion. This may not be a novelty for some, but I was born in 1958 and less people in California were using the train as public transportation.
I loved the train whistle, the motion, and the sound of multiple wheels on a single track. I remember dining in the old dome car and being scolded by my father for thanking our waiter too much. There was also an older man with a shaved head — a health nut — who kept insisting that I eat his atrocious carob chocolate. Again, I was too polite.
Now, what does this have to do with Monopoly? Well, I thought I was familiar with railroads, but there were 4 different railroads in Monopoly: Reading, Pennsylvania, B&O (Baltimore and Ohio), and Short Line. Being kids, we got a kick out of B&O because it sounded like the B.O. for body oder. And, we pronounced Reading as in "reading" a book.
Then, I met Barry Lee Miller through attending church in Southern California. He was a handsome Marine stationed at El Toro and he had just become a Christian. He told me where he was from in Pennsylvania and I immediately associated his city with Redding, California.
"Oh, we have a Redding here," I told him and I spelled it to see if it was the same.
He shook his head and said, "No. R-e-a-d-i-n-g," and pronounced it like "Redding."
"You mean like the Reading Railroad in Monopoly?"
"That's the one." He smiled and corrected the way I said it.
"You've got to be kidding me!" I stared at him like he was from Mars.
I was a little insulted that I had said the name over and over while playing Monopoly and had never known that Pennsylvanians didn't know how to pronounce it. Barry, who is now my husband, wasn't amused. And, he certainly didn't rush back to Pennsylvania to set them straight. But, he married me anyhow.