My father was not a technical guy. He knew numbers. In the early days of our family business, my mother kept the books, and answered the phone at the house, while dad revolutionized the dental products business in the northeast. My brother Paul ran the stockroom, and I would help, usually reluctantly in the beginning, with some of the basic tasks that a nine-year-old could handle. My oldest brother Lee joined later, and became, and still is, one of the best Dental Equipment specialists in the business. You see, dad took his skills as a supermarket manager, and combined it with the business model of SnapOn Tools, and created MoDent, and for more than 15 years, made the competition wonder how he pulled it off. Dad passed away in California in 2009, and in his honor today, I would like to re-post something radio-related from my own blog I wrote about him. Happy Father’s Day dad!
(Dad’s Sony was originally published here at my blog Fofio! in April of 2011)
My father grew up in the ‘Radio Era’ which made him more radio-aware than my children are now. He was by no means a hobbyist, but knew enough to tell good from bad. He knew that AM radios had to be turned for best reception, and a good swiveling whip antenna was necessary for FM reception. For him, the radio needed to be able to pick up his NPR stations, WCBS-AM, and get the Mets games when he was on the road.
I ran a sales territory for our family business. As Dad got older, he eventually came off the road, and ran the company from inside. Every now and then though, he would schedule to ride with one of his salespeople to keep an eye on things. He rode with me for few days once on my Northern New Jersey run. Thursdays on that run, I would sometimes stop at the offices of Gilfer Shortwave, and chat with the Jeanne Ferrell & Paul Lannuier. I had purchased several radios there over the years, and would buy the various shortwave books and guides from them as they were released.
That one Thursday that Dad came along, he got a kick out of Gilfer, and all of the radios. He and Paul talked for a bit, and he purchased a Sony ICF-SW20. Partly because he really liked the quality of the little radio, and partly because I think he liked the folks at Gilfer as much as I did.
Dad had this radio from then, till he passed away in December 2009. It was his main radio. I saw it on his nightstand, in the bathroom, and on trips back east to visit us. Even with all of the selling and swapping I’ve done lately with my radio collection, I will never get rid of this radio. To me it was an acknowledgment from dad that my interests in radio were appreciated, and is a memory of the man I miss. It currently lives on my desk at work, sometimes called to duty for news, and music. Thanks for the radio Dad! I’ll pass it down the line someday to Alec.
The Sony is still on my desk at work. Another note here: Dad always wanted me to get my ham license, and even bought me the equipment when I was a kid to encourage me. I wish he was around to see how much I enjoy this hobby, and how it has helped me find some of the best people I have ever met. 73 dad!