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Portraits of Volunteers


John Ellsworth

VCRM: I’m interested in hearing about your background, how you began collecting old radios and how that lead to the radio museum.

JE: I was a public school teacher and I was teaching technology education, and saw myself as a wood shop teacher and a drafting teacher. And a couple years into working at Southington High School they asked me to teach electronics which I knew nothing about. So I started learning very, very quickly and kind of got into electronics and enjoyed it. So as time went on and I developed a little bit of knowledge I used to go out tag sailing and flea marketing all the time and I saw a little old vacuum tube radio sitting at a flea market one day and picked it up for five bucks thinking I would take it home and fix it with my new-found knowledge. And I did and got it working and that was my first mistake!

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Ed Sax


IEd Sax, September 24, 2015 talking about his background & work experience:

VRCM: Ed, I’m going to ask you to “bare your soul” and just give me a quick biographical sketch of you, your profession, some of the things you’re proud of in your accomplishments…

ES: Well, tell you what. I’ll go back to college in which I majored in sociology under Talcott Parsons. And then on graduation went over to Europe to work with a group called the Winant Volunteers. That involved doing social work in London. After that I bicycled around Europe.

VRCM: What year was this?

ES: This was 1950. One of our volunteers was Ann Rockefeller and several years later she invited all of us to their residence in on top of a hill in Tarrytown, overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge. And that was great fun. By that time I had acquired a Lincoln Continental convertible, so I was properly equipped and so… (laughs) Sometimes I look back and wonder if that would have been a good opportunity to go from where I was working – the unlikely Sikorsky Aircraft – to possibly doing something in New York. But I enjoyed my work Sikorsky Aircraft.

Ed Sax’s 90 th Birthday Party at the Museum June 15th 2019 - Ed’s family provided the party and all museum volunteers were invited.

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

Well, I grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut. I’ve always been a big fan of radio ever since I was sick with the chicken pox at age five I discovered AM radio and listening to WHYN up in Springfield. It came in real good on this little transistor radio that I had and I was hooked and soon I was listening to WDRC and all the top hits. My brother and sister were older so they had an influence on my musical tastes which were advanced for my age. So yes, I really liked listening to the Beetle’s latest hits in the mid-sixties and I sort of evolved with the music… with my musical taste.

I always had an affinity for radio and you can imagine the joy I had one Christmas when I was maybe about 12 years old that I got my first pair of two-way radio CB walkie talkies. Now, to me, two way radio was very, very exciting and my friend Peter Knight – who is also a volunteer at this museum – I’d give him one of my walkie talkies and I would take the other and we’d see how far we could talk to each another with the ultimate goal of spanning an entire mile. Mind you, these were rated for one-quarter mile and well, we soon discovered that we could modify the antennas on the walkie talkies and make them talk farther by attaching wire! And soon we were able to communicate from one house to the other. And Peter was using his dad’s barbeque grill – the grill of the cooking surface – hanging on the side of his house as the antenna. And it worked! That was the best antenna he had that worked very nicely until Peter’s dad had to do some outside grilling and said “What the ---“(laughs) and saw the grill on the side of the house. Read More About Bob

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John Bayusik

VRCM: Briefly tell me about your background, what you did for a living and how you got involved with the radio museum.

Well I started getting interested in radio when I was a kid because my grandparents lived with us and they had this huge Zenith console with the “green eye” and it was fascinating that you could listen to all these places all over the world. And radio was always kind of… I had other interests but radio was always in the background.

For a living, I had been working in chemistry for the last 44 years as a lab technician but electronics came in handy from time to time to get the equipment running again. Read more about John


Ann Harper

I’ve always lived in the Hartford area. Right now I live in Vernon. And I originally was worked in manufacturing and insurance my adult life, and toward the end of my fourth decade I wanted to back and follow what was really my calling to work in a library. I always liked books and information, but the kind of information I was handling for… was kind of narrow – just electronic information that was for purposes of that institution, So I decided to go to library school. And after about two years of being in library school I got to a stage where I wanted to focus more on the library aspect and less on the corporate world, so I took advantage of being able to retire from the corporate world early. One thing I was really fortunate with is that, I… even though I was in school a lot of hours, I did have time to do other things. And I thought, “I would like to work in a library Read more about Ann

Volunteers At Work