The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Features

December 30, 2010

Spirit of the Radio

GREENVILLE — Dale Allen, known as “Radio” Dale by many in the community, has been collecting radios and radio related items for the last 20 years, though he has been repairing them for far longer than that.

“I’ve been repairing radios since high school, at least,” said Allen. “That’s when I realized I wanted to be a radio designer.”

Allen went to Purdue University where he majored in electrical engineering, eventually finding himself in Florida working as a radio designer. After 20 years designing radios, Allen moved to Virginia to work for E-Systems, which soon became Raytheon.

“I’ve been associated with radios all my life,” said Allen. “It’s only been in the last 20 years that I’ve become a serious collector, though. I do a lot of my purchasing on eBay.”

Allen has a very extensive radio collection, one that many museums would pay a good deal to have in their possession because it’s more than just radios and radio memorabilia ... it’s history.

The Allens have lived in Florida, Virginia and Washington, DC, but it was retirement that brought Allen and his wife, Kay to Greenville.

“We had grandchildren in Plano,” said Allen. “So it was either Texas or Oklahoma and we decided Texas. I didn’t want to live in Dallas, because the crazy people lived there. So my wife was literally looking at aerial views and stumbled upon Greenville. I had my doubts at first, but she did the research and eventually found a lot for sale.”

Allen was concerned over the power lines on the aerial view not far from the development they were looking at.

“The static could really ruin my hobby, so when she went to check out the lots I made her take a radio along,” said Allen. “She started at the power line and walked until she could no longer hear static and we bought the lot that she ended up on.”

The history behind the radio, how the invention came about and how it has connected people over vast distances is what really fascinates Allen.

Allen has transistor radios, phonographs, vacuum and radio tubes and all matter of radio related memorabilia including Radio Girl perfume, antique toys and prints and radio-related knifes, salt and pepper shakers and bottle caps, just to name a few.

His collection consumes an entire room in his home. In fact, the home was designed with displaying Allen’s the vast collection in mind. Not to mention his workshop that branches off the garage, which he spends roughly four to five hours a week.

“If I’m bad, then Kay will send me to ‘my room’ for a while,” he said with a laugh.

Kay is very involved in her husband’s hobby.

“As any wife will tell you, she would be stupid not to take an interest in whatever her husband enjoys, if she can,” she said. “We didn’t date but six months before we were married.”

On their first date, Allen took Kay antiquing. They got separated as they wandered around but found each other again as Kay was admiring a piece of radio equipment.

“When she called it by name, I just knew that this was the woman for me,” said Allen.

Unbeknownst to him, her uncle had enlisted her assistance in his radio repairs and so, ever since, Kay helps Allen as best she can with anything he needs help with in regard to restoring old radios.

Dale is a member of the Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society of Irving and has become the local authority on radio restoration and repair, though he does it less for the money than for the fun of it.

“I can’t really see myself doing anything else,” said Allen. “It’s a hobby, yes, but it’s also a big part of my life and who I am.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • Beekeepers.jpg Using combs for their curly hair

    Two little 7-year-old Hunt County twins are the sweetest girls around, and they have the honey to prove it.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Hope coming to county

    Emma Casselton worked for the state of Texas as a foster adoption specialist for 16 years, facilitating more than 1,000 adoptions of local children.

    July 11, 2014

  • IMG_0178.jpg Pastor reflects on 30 years serving Commerce church

    A congregation tends to reflect the views of its pastor.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father's_Day_1.jpg A short history of Father's Day

    There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States today. 

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7 Sunday Follies_Brunch_story.jpg Establishing the heart of Hunt County

    Every two years, the Greenville Follies holds a huge stage production to help raise funds for a local community nonprofit.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preston_Tarrant.jpg Parents hope Greenville can help give Preston a lift

    Before the parents of 11-year-old Preston Tarrant received the news that their son had a form of muscular dystrophy, they weren’t even aware that any such disease existed.

    May 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • CM_Angela_Franklin_2-1.jpg Making a career out of volunteerism

    Angela Franklin is a wife, a mother and a grandmother, but she could also be considered a cheerleader for volunteerism in the Greenville area.

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Birthing_Center_sign.jpg At local birthing center, it is Mother’s Day every day

    The structure sits in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood not far from downtown Greenville.
    If not for the sign in front advertising the home as “The Baby Place Birthing Center”, anyone passing by would likely have no idea that it is a facility where mothers come to deliver their children.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pastor_Ratliff_feature.1.jpg A promise fulfilled

    A little more than 30 years ago, as he was crossing the bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard, Senior Pastor Roger Ratliff of Vansickle Baptist Church received a calling from God, reminding him to fulfill a promise he had made years earlier to join the ministry.

    April 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott_Stegall.jpg Army veteran opens medical facility in Cooper

    When Physician Assistant Scott Stegall first relocated to the Cooper Community Health Center from his practice in Commerce, he knew setting up a family medical clinic in the small, rural community with limited resources would present a challenge.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

What's been the primary cause of the Texas Rangers' poor first half of the 2014 baseball season?

Too many injuries
The loss of Nolan Ryan in the front office
Questionable decisions by general manager Jon Daniels
On-field decisions by manager Ron Washington
Key players just aren't producing
All of the above
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide