I’m in my 80th year and there’s not a lot I haven’t seen and done. I’m a father, husband, retired, and…tired. At one time in my life l was a jack of all trades; could fix a lot of things. But now it’s a chore to get my shoes and socks on. In short my wife lives with an old man! I look in the mirror from time to time and say “who are you, have we met?” One of my favorite things to do is piddle. Piddling is doing the little things you like to do, like sitting in your favorite chair reading the paper, turning on your computer and looking up tomorrow’s weather or calling up Ebay to check on the items you are watching. Often when I’m piddling I take a short nap. I love piddling.
I guess I always liked old radios. As a boy television wasn’t a word that I had ever heard. Everybody listened to the radio, especially at night and on the weekends when all the popular weekly radio personalities were broadcast. I remember all the commercials too. Also It was a good way of learning what was happening in the world. Many of these old radio shows are on cassette and cd today. We lived in a garage apartment behind my grandfather. In one side of the garage my grandfather had a radio repair shop. Now this was in the mid to late 1940s and early 1950s. This was before television, and before transistors. I don’t believe grandpa ever had any formal training in radio but he could change out parts. He could make those radios come back to life. Back then there wasn’t a lot of repair shops.i can remember his shop had a workbench with a tube tester a Simpson voltmeter a big box of resistors a hanging light over the work area at least 6 large radio manuals and a large one bulb 6 volt battery charger. I can also remember the wooden pallet on the concrete floor he stood on when he tested the radios . The opposite side of the workbench were wooden shelves with small table radios and radio parts. On the floor between the workbench and the shelves were large console radios. Grandpa had these cigar boxes on his work bench where he kept his small radio parts, like knobs.. Below his work bench were large drawers where he kept his tools.
I got interested in old radios in 1962. I took a two year radio and tv repair course. For a while I worked on repairing televisions. With color tv and transistor coming in, it was hard to stay up with the technology and besides I couldn’t afford all the test equipment used to repair all of them.
I went into refinery work as an instrument tech in 1965 and got married in 1967. I was busy raising a family until around 1985. About then is when I started making garage sales, estate sales and making radio auctions. My wife and I went to places like New York, Michigan, Chicago Dallas and Houston. I’ve enjoyed every minute finding and repairing old radios I’ve made a lot of friends around the country. I still like sitting down with my old 1938 Zenith console radio and try tuning in some of those foreign stations on the shortwave bands. Sometime I wonder as I listen to these old radios, how many people before me sit and listen to broadcasts from Europe, from sports parks, news during world war 2 and other events around the world from this very radio. Truly these radios are history that was sent through the vast media of radio.