INTO THE WORLD
THE WRIGHTS HAD WAYS of dealing with the press. In May 1904, their invited exhibition successfully promoted an impression that they were no more than a couple of local hopefuls with nothing to display. After that, they resorted to hiding in plain sight. Huffman Prairie was not like the secret Air Force test centers of a much later day; it was accessible by trolley. Anyone could visit simply by climbing over a fence. Still, few people had reason to take the trouble; so far as most of them were concerned, it was just another cow pasture. Nearby farmers often saw them in the air but thought little of it. It was only those fellows from town, flying again.
The brothers' acquaintances included Luther Beard, managing editor of the Dayton Journal.He taught school in Fairfield, about two miles from Huffman's acres, and sometimes rode with the Wrights on the same streetcar.“I used to chat with them in a friendly way and was always polite to them, ” he later recalled.“I sort of felt sorry for them. They seemed like well-meaning, decent enough young men. Yet there