Wagon Tales

The kids are grown now. No grandkids in sight. No use keeping this rusty, little Radio Flyer wagon.  It’s too small to haul things in.  It’s got that big dent in the side. The paint’s half off and it’s rusting away.

It’s one of the racing wagons. My boy and girl used to pull those up to the top of our hill and race down toward the lake, banging into each other as they went.  It made me nervous, to see them flying at top speeds toward open water.  Just in time, they would whip them aside for one final wreck.  I should have put a stop to it, but the screams of joy were worth risk of bumps and bruises.

Once Mermaid Barbie rode shotgun with the girl during a particularly fierce downhill battle.  When it was over, the girl realized that Barbie had lost her head. We looked high and low for it.  Finally, I bent down and looked under that little wagon.  There was Barbie’s head, dangling up under the axle by that long blonde mane.  Her head was removed with the help of scissors.  It  had to be screwed back on, literally.

Barbie, post surgery
Barbie, post surgery. A turtle neck can be a fashion must at times like this.

Barbie with her head back on Thank goodness for turtlenecks.

Babs back on the wagon.

Here are the steps I took in preserving and re-purposing the little Radio Flyer wagon. I did not want to repaint it.

Wagon refurbishing steps
Wagon refurbishing steps

1. Use a wire brush to remove rust.

2. Scrub off rust dust and debris with a scrub brush. Then wash and dry.

3. Drill 12-15 holes in the bottom using a drill bit for metals.(They are  black.)

4. Seal the entire wagon with an acrylic sealant appropriate for metals.

5. Place tiles in the bottom for better drainage of planters.

Holes drilled in the bottom. Notice the dent,
Holes drilled in the bottom. Notice the dent.
Terra-cotta tiles in the bottom for drainage.
Terra-cotta tiles in the bottom for drainage.

I just had to hold on to that little wagon, since it held so many memories for me.

Herb wagon
Herb wagon

4 thoughts on “Wagon Tales

  1. They had good times galore in that Radio Flyer wagon! I’m so glad you figured out its next phase in the cycle of life.


  2. Good idea with the wagon. All of ours have gone by the wayside now, but we still have a few special inside toys, plus a huge suitcase full of legos which I hope will go home with grandchildren someday.

    My favorite garden in Portland is the Lan Su Chinese Garden, but the Leach Botanical Garden is also with a visit.


    1. Marian,

      I know you are busy writing and doing tours. At some point, when you have time, will you please look over my blog posts. I would like to do some garden writing/photography. I am in NC.

      Thank you for your time.

      Flower (Becca) Alley


  3. Thanks for the names of Portland gardens.
    I looked through many photo albums for pictures of the wagon races for this post. Found none. I guess we took videos instead.
    I couldn’t believe how many trips that little wagon went on with our family. I would have felt badly, if I had seen all these photos later after tossing the little thing. It’s like a family member!
    Thanks again.


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