Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Little Red Wagon Parade.

I was over reading a wonderful posting at the site of  a blogger friend whose story sparked a distant childhood memory.  Her story, Heads or talesmentioned of a 'little red wagon' and I was instantly transported to a magical and bittersweet day, from so many years ago.  Dixie, at dcrelief , thank you for this inspiration.

I remember that day so clearly.  For it was the day of  'The Little Red Wagon Parade'.  Little children and their parents, lovingly adorned their wagons, to delight the onlooking crowd.   One by one, the wagons rolled by.  Little wagons covered in flowers.  Little wagons draped in streamers.  Little wagons with brilliant balloons.  The crowd cheered, the crowd applauded, as each little wagon, went by.
Then arrived this one little boy.  All alone.  A solitary figure.  No smiling proud parent, to pull him along, in his little red wagon.  I recognised him.  A quiet and shy little lad.  His little red wagon was not like the others.  No flowers, no streamers, no brilliant balloons.  Just a bit of wrapping paper flung over a rusty wagon.  We all looked on in hushed silence.  And then it began.  A gentle wave of clapping became a crescendo of deeply moving applause.  We cheered, oh how we cheered that little boy.
I looked around and noted the tears streaming down the faces of children and adults alike.  And as I look back at that childhood memory, I smile and I cry.  For that brave little boy and his determination, is forever etched in my heart.


  1. I found you from To Discover Ice. I love your site. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

  2. Hi Kate,
    Thanks and I've noticed you also love the site of my good buddy, David over at 'A day in the Life'. I'm honoured you would include me in such fine company as David.
    Careful you don't trip over the candle on your way out:-)
    Take good care, Gary.

  3. Hi Gary, a touching story of grit and determination, even when you are all alone.

    May be we can learn something from this little boy. Thanks for sharing.

    My very best to you, as always.

  4. This is a heartwarming story, Gary. Within your lines I found compassion, kindness, understanding, and most of all, a spirit of 'goodness'. These remarkable characteristics seem to be slipping from our grasp in the new order of things. Thank you for sharing the story.

    Hope your new year is merry and bright...


  5. Lovely, inspirational story, Gary. Our neighborhood has a fourth of July parade (in the States). The kids dress up their bicycles and wagons and go up and down the streets, then have hot dogs and lemonade at one of the nieghbor's houses. Pretty sweet...

  6. Your memory brought on a memory of the parades that my small town had when I was growing up. During the town fair, they'd always have kids decorate their bikes and parade them around an area. My memory is just that, nothing as compassionate as your memory. Thanks for sharing...inspiring.

  7. Hi Grandpa,
    It is very much a remarkable and inspiring story of one little boy's desire and determination.
    This little boy can be a lesson for us all.
    May you have a peaceful weekend.
    With best wishes, your way, Gary.

  8. Warm greetings M,
    It was a moment of humanity at its most spontaneous and finest.
    Let us hope that mankind does not lose sight of such fine attributes.
    May you have a most peaceful New Year.
    With much respect and kindness, your way, Gary.

  9. Dear Sharon,
    Thanks, just recalling this childhood story, brought mixed tears of joy and a touch of sadness.
    Thanks for sharing what happens during your fourth of July parade. That does sound really neat.
    Take care and have a lovely weekend.
    In kindness and good wishes, Gary.

  10. Hi MaDonna,
    And thank you for sharing your memories of the parades in the small town where you were growing up.
    I was hoping this posting might bring back some memories of childhood.
    It was indeed a magical memory of that day, so long ago. In fact, it was 46 years ago that the little boy warmed our hearts.
    May you have a peaceful weekend.
    Kind wishes, Gary.

  11. Hi Gary! It reminds me again of the little engine who wasn't so sure. Good on the little boy who so proudly displayed what he had in such a wonderful fashion. I think everyone of those people learned a very valuable lesson that day in that it's not about what you have but about how you love what you can do. I love his spirit!!!

  12. My brother and his red wagon came to mind. How it stuck a steering wheel in it ... the point being, reading your blogs never fails to take me back to simpler times. Innocent times. Your little boy is heroic and makes all the bad things ineffective. Thank you, Gary.

  13. LOL, it's past my bedtime. I meant to say that my brother turned his red wagon into a go-cart that must traveled at least 30 mph down the lane in our neighbourhood. In those days his nickname was Crash.

  14. Hi Heather,
    You are so right. You summed up, very nicely, the meaning within the blog and the determined spirit of that wonderful little boy. Valuable lessons were learned. The determination of that boy has given me inspiration.
    Thanks Heather.
    Talk to you soon.
    With kindness and peaceful wishes, your way, Gary.

  15. Hi Joylene,
    I'm pleased this blog took you back to those simpler, innocent times.
    That little boy was a true hero. It must of been nerve-racking to go on the parade by himself. Yet, his desire and determination touched us all.
    Thank you Joylene.
    Respectful wishes, your way, Gary.

  16. Yikes Joylene! It's past your bedtime? It's gone 6:00 A.M., here, in England, and I've not gone to bed.
    Anyway, I reckon your brother's red wagon/go-cart must have really caught the attention of the neighbourhood. And speaking of 'Crash', time for me to crash out.
    Cheerio, it's been fun.
    Kind wishes and a yawn, your way, Gary LOL

  17. That's an inspiring story. I would have like to have been there to witness such a thing. sometimes people surprise you by doing something wonderful and life affirming like that. Glad you shared it.

  18. Rare, the times when people come together and care. When it occurs, it is the most beautiful thing. In this case, how wonderful for the child.

  19. Awh that sounds like a very moving story. Could be made into a wonderful short story me thinks :O)

  20. Awwww what a sweetheart!!! That's so sad but I'm glad you all made him feel ten feet tall and the most precious little boy on this planet!!! Take care

  21. Okay there Gary, tears just rolling down my face, you sure know how to get me going.....oy.....such a story, what more can I say? I'm still verklempt! Thanks....:) boy do I like your writing. Keep on keeping on....later.

  22. I am deeply touched. Discuss.

  23. I notice that some lovely ladies are following our mate Bazza all over the place. Secretly I believe they can't get enough of old Sir Tom, don't you think?
    Nice post by the way old thing!

  24. That brought a big dose of Awwww to my day :)

    A big thing I've noticed since moving here is the ordinary human kindness that still prevails in this part of the world.

    Folks in the UK might not understand how prevalent the "little red wagon" is here, too. Never had anything like that when I was a kid. Yes, we have one now. Yes, it is red. And, yes, it is darned useful!

  25. Hi Kelly,
    It was one of those times in my life that made me realise I was experiencing something deeply profound and heartwarming.
    Humanity at its best and the determination of a young lad, truly inspiring.
    Take care, my friend.

  26. Hi middle child,
    It was a case of seeing folks applaud the determination of an inspiring little boy. It was a moment of magic for us, and no doubt, for him.
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
    In kindness, Gary.

  27. Hi bazza,
    I felt that way when I was typing this story.
    Take very good care.
    In peace, Gary.

  28. Hi Madeleine,
    It was a most moving moment to have been involved in. I think a story like this has potential to be included in an inspiring book of short stories.
    Thank you and take very good care.
    With respect, Gary :-)

  29. Hi Old Kitty,
    Absolutely, what a sweetheart. A sad yet a joyous story of one child's personal triumph.
    I was so honoured to have been there to witness the determination of such a precious little boy.
    With respect and good wishes, your way, Gary

  30. Hi The Manic Chef,
    Cliff, it took me ages to even start writing this story. I couldn't seem to find the right words to describe my emotions of that bittersweet day. And like you, my friend, tears have been rolling down my face.
    Thank you for such thoughtful words. May you, my friend, continue to find comfort through your own powerful and profound writing.
    With respect and kind wishes, Gary.

  31. Hi Sir Tom Eagerly,

    "I am deeply touched. Discuss."

    Sir Tom, this demonstrates what I already knew about you. Good sir, you are a thoroughly decent chap.
    With respect, Gary.

  32. Hello again, Sir Tom Eagerly,
    I can fully understand that those lovely ladies are following around the debonair bazza. I would speculate those same lovely ladies are thrilled to note any visitations from such a charmer as your noble self.
    And thank you for thinking "old thing!" has submitted a nice post. Old thing is most grateful.
    Cheerio, old boy.
    Gary :-)

  33. This beautifully written post will be forever etched in my heart.

    You should really try your hand at writing a book dear Gary. I, for one would purchase it in a heartbeat. Truly :)

  34. Hi Ian,
    It does invoke a sense of awe and magic.
    It's a wonderful part of the world and I believe the sense of community spirit is still very much alive.
    I think that folks in the UK, who have honoured me by reading this, will perhaps now have an idea of just what an icon, the little red wagon is in North America.
    We had a little red wagon shipped over here to England for my son. I remember the amazed looks we got from folks here when they saw it.
    I wish I knew what has happened to his little wagon.
    And Ian, for sure, they are mighty useful!
    Have a good weekend eh.
    In kindness, Gary :-)

  35. Hi Wendy,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment.
    I struggled to write this one. Kept changing it. I can honestly say that I had to stop several times. I found myself overwhelmed with emotion and the tears flowed down my cheeks.
    That is very kind of you to say I should write a book. I just wish I had the confidence.
    Thank you so much for such lovely, thoughtful words. I am truly grateful to know a wonderful writer like you.
    With respect and warm wishes, your way, Gary :-)

  36. Gary, I don't think there is a single writer in the world who is ever completely 'confident' in their abilities. I struggle with it every single day.

    I believe you have a gift. Really I do. How about just giving it go?

    After all, you have nothing to lose. It may be cathartic - in more ways than you could possibly imagine. Use it as a channel in which you can pour out the good, the bad and the ugly in a steady stream upon the page.

    Just a thought :)

  37. Hi Wendy,
    I appreciate what you have noted. And I'm sure that most, if not all writers, have confidence issues.
    It's a mindset thing with me. I do challenge my insecurities, but my 'inner critic' keeps telling me that I am not worthy of even considering myself as some kind of potentially published writer.
    Of course, I have used writing as a cathartic and therapeutic, positive resource. I have always, since my very first posting, used this blog to verbalise my thoughts. The happy, the sad and even the humorous.
    Maybe, one day, I shall submit my writing to a publisher and see what they think. In the meantime, I shall endeavour to hopefully instil emotive reactions in those who are kind enough to read my musings.
    Thank you for your encouraging thought, Wendy. You really are most inspiring. For that, I am deeply grateful.
    With much respect, Gary :-)

  38. it is these stories that most of us have in our memories and in our hearts that maintain our deepest belief in the basic goodness of human beings...

    we had similar types of parades when i was little... thank you for reminding me of those gentle, simple times...

  39. Hi joanne,
    What you note resonates with the belief that humanity, in its purest and most beautiful form, displays great acts of profound and thoughtful kindness.
    It was so much my hope that this story would kindle memories, such as yours, of gentle childhood days.
    Thank you so much.
    In kindness and respect, Gary :-)

  40. Great determination - great heart; a very delightful outcome. Your post took me back; must find a new red wagon!
    Thank you for sharing this moment of the parade. It was very sweet.
    In peace,

  41. Dear Gary,
    An inspirational story indeed. I hope you and I are similarly cheered on in our own little red wagon journeys.
    With All The Best and speak to you soon,

  42. Dear Gary
    That is one of the most lovely and inspiring stories of true determination and courage that I have heard. It was so moving and gives us all a lesson that it is not just the appearance of anything in this life that counts, it's how we go about our lives and treat each other. A beautiful post!
    Best wishes for the new year
    Di xxx

  43. Hi Gary,
    Lovely walk down memory lane. When we were small, we'd tie the red wagons all together to make a wagon train. Then we'd hook the wagon train to a bicycle with the hopes of whizzing through the neighborhood at unthinkably high speeds. Hmmm? Perhaps we'd have been better off with the go cart concept. I continue to use my red wagon to haul stuff. I like it better than a wheelbarrow.

  44. Nice story, Gary. As I read your post, I felt I could see it as clearly as you can. Very touching :)

  45. Hi Dixie,
    That young lad showed great determination to be a part of the parade.
    I want to thank you for triggering that memory. I was so glad I read your very nice posting that mentioned a red wagon.
    I'm so pleased it took you back. Would love to know when you find a new red wagon:-)
    In kindness and positive wishes, Gary

  46. Dear David,
    Excellent. You picked up on one of the many underlying themes in this deliberately short posting.
    Cheers David.
    Look forward to speaking to your illustrious self, very soon.
    With kind wishes, Gary.

  47. Dear Diane,
    Thank you so much. You have captured the deeply profound essence of this story.
    I think that young lad's determination reaches out to us on many emotive levels. Your thoughtful comment, sums it up, beautifully.
    And best wishes to you for the New Year.
    With respect and kindness, Gary :-)

  48. Hi Rebecca,
    Thank you for sharing your stroll down memory lane. That was another aim in my posting. I was so hoping it would bring back some fond memories of those simple childhood days.
    I can just visualise you walking around with your little red wagon. Wheel barrows are so boring :-)
    Thank you for sharing your delightful story, Rebecca.
    In kindness and a
    Farbie doll, your way, Gary :-)

  49. Hi Masked Friend,
    Thank you kindly. I was hoping that it would be captured in the 'mind's eye'.
    I believe that writing just enough to instil emotive responses in the reader's mind, is a most worthy outcome.
    Here's wishing you, my friend, a most positive day and continued inspiration from the magic of the written word.
    With respect, Gary :-)

  50. Your always an inspiration to me Gary... that's why my blog is also being an inspiration to other. thank you Gary!!!

    Well.. I'll be teary myself on cheering that little lad... for a kid that no one to guide.. no parent to cheer.. that's so sad... we know that parents will always be the one to make us feel okay.. but he has none of that..

    i love it Gary... that we can still be strong in the midst of anything...

  51. Funny how some things just stick with us.

  52. hi mr gary! thats a really nice story. even when your more little you could still be brave.
    ...hugs from lenny

  53. Hi Kamila,
    Thank you for your thoughtful words. I think it's wonderful that we can all inspire each other.
    That's what I truly love about the blogging community.
    It was a sad yet somehow a joyous occasion. We were all touched by the sheer courage and desire of that little boy to be a part of something that meant so much to him. He defied the odds and teaches us lessons about the resilient human spirit.
    Yes Kamila, we can be strong when we believe in ourselves.
    May you, my dear friend, stay strong and positive.
    Hugs and smiles, Gary :-)

  54. Hi Sandra,
    Some memories define our lives.
    Thank you.
    In kindness, Gary :-)

  55. Hey Lenny!
    That little boy taught us some very awesome lessons about determination and courage.
    Hugs and smiles, your way, Mr. Gary :-)

  56. Awww! What a wonderful story! I remember decorating our bicycles for the 4th of July. Some people would go all out for their kids, obviously lending a lot of money and a helping hand. A shame, really. It should have been the kids.

  57. I love to read storis such as this. The internal bravery of some children never cease to amaze me. I feel they are much braver than us adults at times.

    Beautiful post, Gary!!!!

  58. Hi Samantha,
    It really was a heart warming moment.
    I thought you might recall such events as that from your 4th of July celebrations. I agree with you about the parents perhaps getting a little too much involved. I wonder if it was about the kids enjoying themselves or some over zealous parents taking control of the situation. Still, that little boy demonstrated the true essence and spirit of the red wagon day parade.
    Take good care, Samantha.
    Kind wishes, Gary :-)

  59. Hi Lynne,
    Thank you for such thoughtful words. The courage and determination of that little boy is a profound lesson for adults who might have decided to give up on their dreams.
    Here's wishing you a most peaceful and positive day.
    With respect, Gary :-)

  60. You know, Gary, I wish that people could be that encouraging to one another all of the time - in all avenues of life. I know the story was about the determination of the little boy - but I was struck at the supportive encouragement that everyone offered. If we could all be that good to each other all of the time, the world would be so much nicer. =) I love your posts like this - they really do warm the heart. WARM greetings from across the pond!

  61. Hi Michelle,
    Wouldn't it be a wonderful world where we are cared and supported each other. No judgement calls or labels. What a world.
    The story had many underlying themes. And on that magical day, we were all together, sharing in the delight of that determined little boy.
    That day was true display of the tender side of the human spirit. I truly believe, through the positive interaction we share within this community, that we really can make this world, a better place.
    I feel very emotional when I tell of such tales. And thank you for liking this type of post. They surely do warm the heart:-)
    Warm greetings back to you, Michelle.
    In kindness, Gary.

  62. I think most of us or a certain age had a little red wagon. I remember mine well. My parents no doubt remember it well too, as I used to sit in it and ride down a nearby hill, steering with the handle... needless to say they were not especially pleased.


  63. Hi TSB,
    For sure, a lot of us had one of those little red wagons. Although, now that I'm living in England, I've only noticed one. That would be the one we had shipped over from Canada for my son. I have no idea where it is. I think my ex may have kept it as part of the divorce settlement :-)
    I bet your parents were not too impressed with your riding down the hill in it. Ah, thank you so much for recalling a childhood memory.
    And here's wishing you a most positive experience with your writing over at your excellent blog.
    Kind regards and thank you so much for dropping by.
    Gary :-)

  64. thank you G that was a lovely story/memory

  65. Hi kerrie,
    Thank you and I very much appreciate you reading my inspiring childhood memory.
    Positive wishes, your way,
    Gary :-)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.