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Post by Dr. Radio on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:37 pm

Anyone familiar with the term "Elmer", I guess it's more HAM related, but basically your Elmer is someone who helped teach you the ropes when you were first starting out.

My Elmer isn't doing so good. Went to visit him last Saturday after hearing him on the radio call in show--local trading post having radios for give-away to anyone interested. I paid him a measly amount (he wouldn't accept anything more), for a lot of among the last of his radios (basically misc plastic, nothing really special, but I can't let even some ugly plastic radios go to the dump), some tubes and misc. Seems not many people are interested in old electronics, even if they are free.

He's had his ups and downs, said he's "done" with radio a few times before in the time I've known him, but always seemed to get the spark back and would repair for others.

I've known him since I was in Junior High in the '90s when I first got into this hobby. He has always been helpful and always seem to have an interesting project brewing. This past Saturday was different, seems he's done for good. He didn't look the best and usually his attitude perks up when I'm talking with him and visiting. Not so this time. He's in his 70s now so I can understand the difficulty of maintaining a house on your own, let alone finding hobby time, or working on others projects.

I now have his trusty vintage 8200 series Weller soldering gun, which I plan on using for my projects, rather then my circa 1996 Radio Shack gun. This won't be just useful--it will now hold sentimental value forever for me.

I hate seeing people go down hill. I let him know if he needs anything to contact me. Just gets me down, to see people down.

Just wanted to share. Crying or Very sad
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Post by Guest on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:11 pm

Sorry to hear your mentor is not doing well, I'm sure he gets some comfort knowing you will keep his interest going.

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Post by Ken g on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:20 pm

Its ok .. When some people get that old they dont have the energy for all of that ''stuff'' any more . I have been at this radio stuff for 43 years . I have almost hit my limit and the interest is not so strong anymore . I have sold , gave away and thrown away quite a bit of it lately . I would rather fix other peoples stuff for a few bucks than keep stuff any more .

I do enjoy helping others with repairs . Problem is , its hard to get people to listen .

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Post by willy3486 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:45 pm

A lot of the elmers who taught me are already gone. But the most important thing they gave me was the memories. I did get a lot of stuff they got rid of, I got a set of 20 riders,1-20, photofacts from about #70 when the riders I have end and to about the 1990s . I also have a set of NRI manuals from the 40s and the 70s.

Anyway I like you was bothered to see a lot of them gone. I saw a post on another site geared more to cars of this guy who is a pilot who bought a old welding shop. IIRC he grew up in that area and knew the man. He restored it and talks fondly of the original owner. So that gave me a idea of redoing my shop. One reason it was messy and I wanted it cleaner. The other was to set it up like a shop from the 40s to 50s like when these guys may have worked in when they got out of the military after WW2.

So now I am on a quest in my shop to make a radio workshop like they may have worked in. It has been a labor of love so to speak. The screen door I made I got the idea from one TV man who had a shop called bonner ST TV repair. IT was a old small grocery store looking building but it had one of those old screen doors that would slap the door frame when it shuts. Then I made my bench from inspiration of the NRI manuals from a fellow who ran a TV shop out of his house as a hobby. This fellow was a cattle farmer to make a living but got back into TV repair when he retired.

In my storage area I have two hallways with two shelves on each hallway. This was similar to a fellow named Hankal who had a shop in my hometown. I could always buy something from him as he had every part you could need. The other part of my shop has vintage tools like saws and such and that remind me of the Hankal fellow as well because he used old tools until they wore out, he had what looked like a 1930s arc welder he used.

The only thing I would like to have to make my shop complete is a TV shop sign that was used outside the building. I found one but he asking way more than its worth and more than I can sink into it. But I will find one, I have local people looking for me one. I really would like one local.

Whats the point of my post? Its to make a point. These fellows may be gone or going down but its up to us younger folks to pass on their names and stories to people who never was able to know them. My biggest regret is that I didn't ask more of the stories of people and repairs. These guys taught me a lot and if I don't pass it on their story is lost.

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Post by terrydec on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:50 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I guess I'm doing pretty good for going into my 70's, (I'll be 69 a week from Wednesday). I have all of the 'perks' of old age of course-health problems mostly, but my living situation has never been better, ever. My only regret is that I live alone.
I had one of those mentors too, but not an electronics person.
He was my high school English teacher. He encouraged me in too many way to count. He used to take me to concerts, plays, recitals-stuff like that. He must have seen something in me because he spent a lot of extra time with me outside of school. He encouraged me to be a DJ, to act in plays, join the debate club and the photography club. These are all things I still enjoy doing today. I spent most of my life "on the air" and I'm a professional photographer. But the main thing is my writing. I didn't never learn no grammar that good, Wink but I've always had the passion.

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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:33 pm

Sorry to hear of your friends advance along the course in life. Always try to keep cultivating new good friends as you keep the old.

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