The Toy “For Every Boy. For Every Girl.”

Jen Adams

The distinctive rumble-bump of the wheels over the pavement … that sharp ker-thunk as we cleared the dip at the end of the driveway … I can still hear the natural soundtrack of play as my sisters and I spent hours hauling each other around in our red Radio Flyer wagon, ecstatic to have the full freedom of our very own set of wheels.

We weren’t the only kids to be thrilled with one of Antonio Pasin’s creations. His original hand-made wagons, introduced in 1917, were one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts of the 1920s. In fact, they were such a lasting smash hit that even now I’d be surprised if there’s a child in your life under the age of five who doesn’t have one.

But the gift of a Radio Flyer isn’t so much about the wagon itself … it’s about what it represents.

Red steel Radio Flyers started out as wooden “Liberty Coasters.” Pasin chose the name to honor the Statue of Liberty and his new home in New York City. Originally from a small town outside Venice, Pasin had arrived in New York at the age of 16, by himself, after his family sold their mule to pay for his passage to America.

These days, that sounds quaint. But in 1913, cars were still a novelty item reserved for the uber-rich. Regular people walked, or, if you were lucky, rode a horse. Pasin’s family had basically swapped their sole means of transportation to give him a shot in the US.

And there he was, using his training as a cabinetmaker to build wagons for kids.

You can forgive his parents for perhaps thinking he’d gone nuts … just as perhaps your friends and family thought about you when you first shared your plans to make a serious income as a writer!

But by becoming a writer, you grant yourself the same gift Pasin was giving thousands (now millions) of kids … the freedom to get out there and explore, have adventures, and zoom about the world under your own power.

After all, you’re no longer tied to working in one location. Wherever there’s a wi-fi connection, you’re in business. You could work from your living room couch this morning … an airport lounge this afternoon … and 1,000 miles away by tonight.

No client would ever know, unless you told them, and most wouldn’t care where you worked anyway. And with the income you can earn as you go, there’s nothing stopping you from making your most wild and crazy dreams of a free-roaming life come true.

Pasin’s “crazy dreams” earned him a spot in the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Where will your writing dreams take you? Where do you hope to go? Let me know in the comments.

Then, tomorrow, watch your inbox to learn how a small hand-held fortune-telling device could reveal your personal future as a writer!

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Published: December 21, 2015

9 Responses to “The Toy “For Every Boy. For Every Girl.””

  1. My plan is to become a better copywriter initially with the idea on creating marketing books or a course for small business.

    Greg DiVilbiss

  2. I'm not sure I'm ready to write just yet. I barley started a journal.i do like reading the emails. I get excited each time I get a new one.

    Guest (Sonia)

  3. Thanks Jen;

    Truly enjoyed you story about Mr. Pasin. Looking forward to tomorrow's and the rest of the week. Happy Christmas.


    Guest (George White)

  4. There is almost nowhere I would not go, if I could just get there. And when I do, I'll show and tell my perspective in photographs and words. What a life that would be!

    Guest (Ian)

  5. My plan is simply to make an income where I may afford to help my fellow veterans who may find themselves in need of help.
    I love writing, and it does not matter what,within reason, as long as it`s clean since we have plenty of vulgarity as it is. It would also be nice to be able to replace a certain Chatty Cathy doll from the early 60`s of my older sister`s since her curious younger brother ( moi? )just had to pry open with a screwdriver so that I, uh he, could ascertain what made her talk.Oh well, my bad !

    Guest (Elmer Ray Toller Jr)

  6. Hi Jen,

    I've been writing for a long time and I am a published poet

    However. the AWAI has given me exactly what I've been searching for especially, "A Family".

    And, now I have raised my children/husband and ran them off(lol so, I can concentrate on myself in my "golden years".

    So, to answer your question I can only bloom through my writing with all the experienced, helpful & caring new family - AWAI.

    Guest (Wanda)

  7. I'm already a member, but I read on to see where you were going with the wagon story, the connections you made, if any. I like where you went with it. It seemed like a big leap. My family is never supportive of any career that does not require certain college degrees but people can make money doing. It would be like telling them I'm going to sell illegal drugs. I'm going to keep it a secret. They don't need to know. I need to make money and I am thoroughly enjoying this wagon ride.

    Guest (Gabrielle)

  8. Like our "first set of wheels" w/o which wagon-ho mobility never had a chance, baseball cards -- now vintage -- liberated THIS boy's "suicide squeeze play" w/ our otherwise poor power to add or detract. Moreover, those small pieces of cardboard rurally linked us to safer diamonds-in-the-rough if actually getting to the ballpark had been precluded by wrong-side-of-the-track dystopias.

    Then? When they banked the backs of cereal boxes! Suddenly the kitchen table was America's entire heartland!

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  9. Enjoyed the email story; I'm from NY myself;I just want to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing. I got my start because I stayed on punishment as a child. Banished to my room, I was allowed paper, pencils, and anything I wanted to read. I recently lost my job and am down to no money; that's when I had an epiphany to use what I know how to do to make money, somehow. I have a million stories in my head, but then again, doesn't every potential writer. I hope to gain enough knowledge to be free from the shackle of poverty I'm currently in; although I can't yet afford the program, just reading the emails keeps me motivated. So for that, thank you and thank AWAI!

    Guest (Angie)

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