Myers caught the radio bug 58 years ago, when he was 16. It led him to a 31-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration, and now, in retirement, to busy days of collecting and fixing the antiques.
"The challenge is what draws me to each radio I repair," said Myers, 74.
He collects tube-style AM models, and has sold some, but money isn't his goal. He has made only a little over $1,000 in profit over the years.
"My reward is when I am putting on the final lacquer and when the finished product is sitting up on my cabinet," said Myers.
Growing up in Muncy Valley, Myers listened to "The Lone Ranger" and "Sky King" on his father's Majestic radio. He thought that one had an awful appearance; in fact, he didn't have much interest in radios as a youngster.
However, "It all changed when I was 16 years old," Myers said. "There was an article in a 1954 issue of Boys' Life about the construction of transistor radios ... that story got me interested in the career I pursued."
He became an electronic technician for the FAA, spending many years working with communication equipment and tape recorders at the Elmira-Corning Airport in New York.
When he retired, he moved back to this area. One day, he came across a book about old transistor radios. He soon had
Myers arises shortly after 7 a.m. and makes his way to the kitchen, where he turns the tuner to WHLM on the old Silvertone.
After a bit, he puts on a pedometer and walks about two miles along Route 239. When he returns, he tracks his miles on a calendar. Then he gets to work.
The 1936 Silvertone is his "flood radio." When the rain started to come the night that soaked much of the Susquehanna Valley last September, Myers was determined to attend an auction in Pennsdale. He made it and walked away with his prize for $115.
Getting home wasn't so easy. He ended up spending the night in a shelter at Hughesville High School.
Myers finds most of his radios at estate sales and the Max Winn Auction in Millville. His favorites are Zenith tombstone and floor models. He says Zenith pieces are the best quality and usually go for higher prices at auction.
The entertainment center in his family room holds over 30 small transistor radios and five books on antique radios. Myers smiles and touches a Toshiba "lace" transistor—the grill speaker is covered in real lace—and pulls it from its original box.
This is one of Myers' best finds, costing him only $5 at auction. Today, it would sell for $350 to $400. But Myers says he has no plans to part with it.
With both hands, he lifts a large blanket off a three-tier shelf. With his feet planted on the floor, he picks up a Zenith 12s256, one of 10 radios on his "keepers" list. It's the most expensive radio he's ever purchased, $450.
Myers knows each of his radios: the model, the year it was made, where he bought it, how much he paid, how much time he worked on it, and how much it's worth at auction. Each radio has a handwritten description on a piece of loose-leaf paper with all of this information for potential buyers to see.
Still, "It's hard for me to part ways with a lot of these radios because of how much time I spend on each one of them," he said.
All of his radios are fully functional. They can pick up local stations as well as certain AM channels in Boston, St. Louis, Atlanta and, his favorite, AM740 in Canada
His current collection is worth right about $10,000. He hopes to take 15 of his best radios to the Delaware Historic Radio Club event in Kutztown next fall. The event draws collectors from around the nation.
What makes a particular radio great is the company, history and the number of tubes it has, Myers says. Tubes help to make the sound clearer.
If Myers could have any radio in the world, it would be the Zenith "Waltons" tombstone, the radio seen on the TV program "The Waltons." In good condition, one of these pieces at auction could sell for upwards of $2,000, he said. He came across one once, but someone outbid him for it.
Myers, who has daughters in the Elmira area and Florida, says he'll keep at his hobby as long as he's able. "I really enjoy what I am doing."
Information from: Press Enterprise, http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com