Growing up on a farm as a kid meant hard work and chores that had to be done. If you didn’t get the wood chopped you couldn’t cook or heat water for baths. It was hard to be a kid. Kids like to play. I remember complaining to my father about working all the time and that I had no toys to play with when I did have free time. Daddy just smiled and said use your imagination. You can go anywhere or do anything if you can imagine it.

I found out that when I chopped wood I would imagine that I was building a great fort that would protect my family. I was a big Childcraft reader and imagined many possibilities of what I could be in the future, a captain of a sailing ship, an adventurer exploring the deepest jungles of the Amazon. The future seemed to be filled with endless possibilities.

I asked my Daddy if I could really do those things. Was it truly possible? Daddy sat me down on the woodpile and said, son you have to learn, you have to prepare the way in your mind. You have to develop a sense of believing, of seeing yourself doing it. Make the needed preparations just like when you chop extra wood preparing for the winter. It was a lot to think about as a kid but I did imagine the possibilities.

A kid has simple needs and I started to imagine having a bike. I could see it in my mind. A red bike from Sears with silver spokes. I could feel the breeze on my face as if I were riding it that very moment. I could hear the sound of the tires racing across the wooden bridge. Gathering my courage I asked my Daddy if I could have a bike. I said I can imagine it. I can see me riding it.

Daddy hung his head and I knew I had made him feel bad. I understood that you didn’t have money on a farm until the harvest. I pondered my situation while chopping wood. I came up with 100 different ways that I could get that bike. At the end of the day I took the few coins Daddy gave me for doing my work into my room. I had an old tin box that sadly held $1.50.

It was Sunday and I was fishing at the creek. I saw a big Pepsi truck coming down the dusty dirt road. It was my uncle and I knew he was coming to see us. The bridge was a small plank bridge and very narrow. As he came over that bridge the double back tires were rolling toward the very edge of the planks. There was a loud cracking noise and the truck leaned toward the creek. Crate after crate of Pepsi went crashing into the creek. The truck stopped dead on the bridge. Most of one whole side was now lying in the bottom of the creek.

Daddy towed him out of the creek with the tractor and all I heard was that my uncle was in big trouble. I watched him disappear down the road leaving hundreds of Pepsi bottles. As I sat on the bridge and I imagined all of the Pepsi I could drink. I then remembered a story at school about a boy and a lemonade stand and my imagination went into overdrive. I told my Daddy that I was going to get that bike. Daddy just smiles as if reading my thoughts.

Now all I needed was a stand and a big sign. Daddy asked me what I had in mind. I said that I wanted a stand beside the road to sell Pepsi Colas. He told me to draw it out and come up with a way to get all the drinks out of the creek and how did I plan to keep them cold. Lastly, he asked how I planned to do that and all my chores.

At that time Pepsi sold for a dime. Since I got mine for free I charged a nickel. Daddy built me a stand and we got a galvanized tub for ice. We put the stand beside the road near the creek and used rakes to get the Pepsi out of the creek bed.

I got up early every morning to get my work done and then I sat by the road. Sundays after church were the best time as folks took Sunday drives. Mom made me some pie to sell by the slice and we added corn and watermelons. I was working on my third tin box for the coins and bills I earned.

I got that bike at the end of the season and I had my stand for two years after that until we moved to town. I told my Daddy that I really did use my imagination.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. Imagination, which includes the generation of ideas that did not exist before, or the generation of different ways of seeing a situation, is important for achieving creative actions. It is a process of facilitation to achieve the goal: the more images, the more emotions increase. And, the more the intensity of emotions grows, the more motivations will be to get it.
    This is a determining factor especially when there is a goal to be achieved. Yeah, because imagination is nothing but the preliminary phase of visualization, the static phase inside of what will then be transformed into dynamic, with tangible effects, more or less close to the initial representation of the mind.

  2. Now that was a terrific story, Larry! I can almost see the wheels turning in your young head, with all those Pepsi bottles just begging to be sold … good for you, and good for your dad to have instilled in you the idea of imagining where you could go and how you could get there!

    Now, why does Dr. Seuss suddenly come to mind? 🙂

  3. Larry, loved reading great truths from your anecdotal experiences.
    This reminded me of two of the greatest quotes that has influenced me in my life – the first was by Walt Disney “ ALL your dreams can come true IF only you have the courage to pursue it.”

    The second was by Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    I love your use of the word “Imagination”. Imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside the mind. It gives the ability to look at any situation from a different point of view, and to mentally explore the past and the future. It is not limited only to seeing pictures in the mind. It includes all the five senses and the feelings. One can imagine a sound, taste, smell, a physical sensation or a feeling or emotion. For some people it is easier to see mental pictures, others find it easier to imagine a feeling, and some are more comfortable imagining the sensation of one of the five senses.

    Understanding, how to use our imagination correctly, and putting this knowledge into practice, for our own and others’ benefit, will put us on the golden path to success, satisfaction and happiness.

  4. Larry, beautifully written. Such a pleasure to read. I read an article recently that children, when tested, scored in the “genius” level for creativity. Goes to show…if we can trust our childlike imagination again what might be gained.

  5. I feel imagination is the glue that connects people together. Many escape into stories, movies, and youtube videos because they crave imagination — such as two cats acting out a typical two player fighting game. Never knew cats could throw fireballs.

    We have be so entrenched in getting our imagination from non-people sources, we forget that people have imagination too. All you need to do is make sure a person opens up and feels safe to be imaginative. Then many benefits come out of that — powerful leadership, innovation, and high levels of job satisfaction.

    Imagination is greatly underrated!

    • You nail this one.( we forget that people have imagination too.) I think this generation has lost a lot of their imagination.

    • I was in a room with Millennials and were talking about brand new ideas. Each of them tried to google those ideas for more context.

      I just smiled and said, this is the bleeding edge people. You can’t google the bleeding edge. Some looked for 30 minutes just for the satisfaction to prove me wrong. They have a different mindset.