Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Radio Flyer

Dear Mr. Radio Flyer President,

I wanted to write to let you know that the red Radio Flyer wagon, found discarded in a back alley in Phoenix over 20 years ago and subsequently refurbished by my father-in-law (I think all it really needed was a new handle and some fresh paint) has served above and beyond all expectations.

When our kids (his grandkids) were little, this wagon was used for walks to the park (I walked, the kids rode). It was used to haul dolls up and down the driveway and toys from the front yard to the back. Our dog, Sandy, was often hitched to the handle to pull one or the other of the girls...sometimes the stuffed monkey and bear. Tipped on its side, the wagon made a good fort wall.

Once our kids were grown, we often used the wagon for gardening projects and to move items too heavy or unwieldy for the wheelbarrow. I personally liked having 4 large tires to keep the thing balanced. There were probably some years in there where we didn't use the wagon at all, but we kept it safe and dry.

Then we moved to a farm! I wonder if your people ever thought about the many uses their wagon could provide to ease the chores of farm life?! Much like the 101 uses of duct tape in the world (I think there are books about this), I could write a book.

Throughout the year, our little red wagon is used to haul hay, straw, and grain to the barn, from the barn, out to the chicken yard, and down to the garden. I have to balance my loads carefully because most of them weigh in excess of 75 lbs and the path is narrow and full of dips and holes. If I had to do this with a wheelbarrow, I am not sure I could make it across the bridge to the barn.

In fall, we use the Radio Flyer to bring the vegetables in from the garden and lots and lots of buckets filled with apples from the orchard. I also balance drying racks full of potatoes and onions, dragging them across the bumpy lawn to the root cellar. This year, we even used the wagon to take our heavy cider press out onto the grass where we pressed grapes and plums for wine (thought it would be too messy in the carport). Once the carboy glass jars were filled with liquid, we hoisted them back onto the Radio Flyer to move them to a more permanent storage area.

In winter, our little red wagon serves as the perfect transport for split wood we use in our wood stove to heat the house. The logs are just a little longer than the width of the wagon and stack nicely so that we only have to make about three trips between the wood pile and our inside bin to fill it. I have discovered that I can even drag the wagon straight into the laundry room so I don't have to walk as far.

In spring and summer, our Radio Flyer is filled with containers of flowers and veggies for planting. This is kind of an ongoing process as I find color holes that need to be filled or a special sale of something pretty to put near the front door. The wagon also is good for carrying the potting soils we need and all the tools of the trade.

So, all in all, I don't know what I should have done had we had left our Radio Flyer back in Phoenix when we moved. You have created the perfect farm tool: simple, durable, and totally useful. Exceeding your customers' expectations is always a good thing. Congratulations on a wagon for the generations, since I soon hope to be pulling my new grandson around the farm too! Regards,

Photos: top - Radio Flyer filled with chiles and tomatoes from the greenhouse; bottom - Radio Flyer loaded with a bale of straw headed for bedding in the barn.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2008 Scottie Jones


Farmgirl_dk: said...

What a great post! I love all the things this wonderful red wagon does for you. And, you know, I actually have one out in our garage from when my boys were small...we've been here on our tiny farm for almost two years, but I've never pulled it out because I thought the little wheels would never stand up to our bumpy, hilly terrain. With all you're doing with it, I clearly need to give it a try! :-)

I hope you'll post a picture of you pulling your new grandchild around in it!

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