Radio Flyer and Wood Sidewalks

by kfrego

My family only spent one Christmas in Potlatch. It was a very simple holiday by today’s standards. It made a great memory because each of us five kids received a single wrapped gift under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. That single gift was a cherished possession. You didn’t drop it in a corner and move on to other gifts. You played with it, took care of it, and you were proud to have it. My gift was a six inch long steel farm tractor with tricycle wheels and a steering wheel that was functional. It had real solid rubber tires and green paint.

We also received a family gift in the form of a large bright red Radio Flyer wagon. Never in our wildest dreams did we think a wagon like the Radio Flyer would belong to us. This was truly something special and could be used and enjoyed by all of us. It was a thrill whether you were pulling or riding in that Radio Flyer wagon. When spring arrived we were able to have the Radio Flyer wagon outside most of the time. It never sat idle for very long. We never left it outside unattended.

Potlatch had a distinction very seldom seen in most towns. As a company town owned and operated by a lumber company, the sidewalks were made out of wood and most streets had sidewalks. The boards on top of the sidewalks were spaced with a pretty wide crack between them and the sidewalks were about six inches above the ground. They were wonderful to keep a nice clean walking surface, but they created havoc with our Radio Flyer wagon. The cracks between the boards were like riding on an over sized wash board for the wagon. The constant chattering loosened every nut and bolt holding the wagon together. Dad was frequently tightening the components of the wagon back together. Off we would go again, big kids pulling and the little kids riding.

My little farm tractor and the family Radio Flyer were real treasures……..even in a lumber town with wood sidewalks.