Everyone should have their 1st wagon
My dad would scour garage sales and flea markets for used, rusty, beat up Radio Flyer wagons. He would bring them all home and we would get started. You see we ran a preschool with many low income or single parent families. These families were struggling to make ends meet, let alone afford a wagon for their kids. So we started collecting old ones and bringing them back to life. Our "new" wagons were used for injured kids in casts, disabled dogs, and for bringing big smiles to lots of families. My dad and I bonded over the wagons, as did the families who got them!
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"Growing up in the 70's, my cousins, sisters and I spent most of the summer outdoors at our grandparents' house. We would take all 3 of our grandfather's Red Flyer wagons and tie them together to make a "roller coaster" and then pile in and ride down the big hill in the yard. Sure, we got skinned knees, skinned elbows, and bumps and bruises from unsuccessful rides, but we loved it!"
"We adopted my little brother when I was 8 and he was four months old. From the very beginning, he loved for me to prop him up with blankets and pillows and take him for a ride in our Radio Flyer little red wagon. That wagon truly was an integral part of our play and was used daily unless the weather was bad. Pulling him around soon turned to figuring out creative ways to tow him as soon as he could sit up and hold on. I devised a genius system involving my bicycle, a rope, the wagon, and a 1/2 mile gravel driveway. We flew together with the wind in our hair up and down that driveway until I turned a corner a little too sharply and then I was banned from making alterations to the wagon handle for the rest of our lives (if he were to make it that long with the rest of my creative shenanigans). Luckily, I didn't accidentally scar him for life. Fast forward to 22 years later and we are sitting on the porch laughing and watching my three nieces who are 5, 7, and 8 getting a running start like they are bobsledding, throwing themselves into the wagon at the last possible moment of top speed, holding the handle back, and hanging on for dear life as they race down a hill in the now squeaky and slightly rusty little red Radio Flyer wagon that we loved so dearly. They were bruised and there were a few scrapes, but they loved it so much they just kept pushing the wagon back up the hill and doing it over and over again. Did we stop them?... nope. We sat on the porch and reminisced about all of our childhood escapades with that very same little red wagon and could almost feel the wind in our hair again as we flew together down that gravel driveway years ago. That little red Radio Flyer wagon still lives at Gramma and Papa's house 30 years later and my four little girls create their own memories with it every time they visit. "