Saturday, October 31, 2009

Little Red Wagon Trivia

The classic toy wagon was designed by Antonio Pasin, who founded his company in 1918. Pasin wanted to give his wagons a modern flair, and chose the word "radio" for what was then a new form of communication, and "flyer’ for the wonder of flight—hence, "Radio Flyer."

Three of us girls went down a steep hill (actually it was the road in front of one of the girls' houses) in one of those when we were probably around 11 or 12 (who remembers?). When I decided to do it by myself, my weight wasn't enough to keep the front wheels from swerving all over the place no matter how hard I tried to control the steering with the handle. It turned over, and I skidded down the paved road long enough to have many painful abrasions. I hobbled home embarrassed about the whole thing.

Some of us in the neighborhood did foolhardy things like that as well as riding our bicycles "no hands" and standing on the seat while speeding down a driveway that had two right-angle turns in it. My knees were scar tissue after a while. Yes, my mother was home and a good mother, but that's when kids played outside all the time in the neighborhood. We all had large yards, an empty lot, and a woods behind us. We survived quite well actually.

Here's a wagon with cute puppies to help you cope with the sadness of that story.


David Dust said...

You don't see little red wagons as much as you used to. But you're right - kids don't spend hours and hours playing outside anymore, either.

One ironic place that you see tons of these icons of a more innocent time is on Fire Island Pines. The notorious gay summer resort has no cars, just boardwalks between all the fabulous houses (Fire Island is nothing more than a large sandbar - hence no roads). So when the queens get off the ferry (faerie?), they put all their crap on one of the wagons at the dock, and wheel their stuff to their houses.

Oy, what those little red wagons have seen over the years... :)


Miss Ginger Grant said...

We played hard when we were kids, didn't we? And we didn't wear helmets, or knee pads, or mouth guards, or any of that other pansy shit kids were today! If we fell off our bike, we got hurt... that's just how it went! And then Momma would kiss our boo boos and they got better. That the problem with families today... no boo boos, so the kids don't get enough kisses!

frogponder said...

You gotta come out West - life is still like that. :-)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Ah, the innocence and stupidity of youth :o)

lelocolon said...

I have teary eyes. I am so butch tonite, but you brought me to a place that sounded and taste like home. I too have a red wagon story. 1964 chicago ill. New to the country we arrived at new years day. My first trip on an airplane. I was dressed up. only 3 years old. And my mother was so elegant. so we arrived and we meet our families and 4 days later I saw this construction going on. It was a red fucking wagon. I was asthmatic as a child, so the idea of a red
wagon was incredible it meant I can play and share the breath out side. But guess what the little wagon was for my cousin. It was not for me. I have just arrived. Imagine having to witness possibilities and not been shared with.

Joy said...

Oh, lelo, how sad. It makes me want to hug your little 3-year-old self. Bless your heart!

Beth said...

LOL Some people are appalled that I ride my bike without a helmet! I'm riding down the same country roads that I did when I was a kid...why would I need a helmet?

Joy said...

I agree!