Happy National Radio Day

I worked in radio, a few lifetimes ago. I have a great radio transmitter sign, it reads:





A station engineer gave it to me once upon a time. Too bad he didn’t need to offload a transmitter and broadcast license that day, I suppose. Anyway, sitting right under it, and looking rather out of place because of it, is my Silvertone 8090 AM radio, from 1948.

You wonder what news and entertainment the original owners enjoyed through that cabinet, and how it came to my hands.

I purchased it from a retired educator about three years ago. Restoring radios, he said, was his retirement hobby. Feeling a bit like I was on a reality show, I got him to tell me all about his process and show me his other radios. He gave me a tour of the ones he was tinkering on in his garage, and the finished radios that held pride of place in his home. I got him to drop his price a bit and we loaded it up in the car. It still powers up, and I turned it on when I got it home. I listened to part of a football game on the local AM station.

One day I’ll actually put a Bluetooth speaker in there and play big band music from within the cabinet. But I have to move all of the things in my home office four or five more times first. (Another shuffle is coming this weekend!)

The gentleman I bought it from came to campus a few weeks later and I gave him and his wife a mini-tour of The Media School. They were quite pleased by all that we are doing for students. (I believe she was an educator, too.) On their way out he said he was thinking of selling one of his really, really nice radios. One of the few sorts I’d really want. It was an early console radio with station presets. I could put my old station call letters on the buttons. How neat this would be! We’d talked about them for some time in his home, and I knew better than to ask. But on his campus visit he said he was maybe thinking about selling one, one day.

Which was the time to say, if you do, I hope you’ll consider giving me a chance to make an offer.

I keep checking my Facebook messages to see if he’s ever written me about selling it … no luck on National Radio Day.

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