February 2024

The Superflex

A Publication of the Alabama Historical Radio Society  



Our next monthly business meeting at the Shop and via Zoom will be Monday evening, February 26th at 7:00 PM with VP Steven Westbrook presiding. Thanks again, Boyd, for hosting these from your hangout/lair/man-cave! We will try a new twist with a repeating link for the next 6 months (Feb-Jul) that will not be unique to each date:

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 863 3057 9924

Passcode: 631140

Our reminder email, a week or so beforehand, will also include the link. I will be away for the next business meeting visiting Vietnam. I served in the US Army Reserves 1970-76 and, although my residency chair did many humanitarian missions there after the War, I was never able to be away from my practice for these multi-week events.

Let me raise the question once more about moving our business meetings from 4th Monday each month at 7:00 PM. To date, I have not had any responses to the question; if you have a strong opinion that we should routinely move it to a different time, please let Steven Westbrook or me know via the Society email address ahrs2000@gmail.com. Since the May meeting will fall on Memorial Day, we may move that one, but we’ll make that call closer. We will consider a lack of requests to move to represent keeping the status quo.

The Society Board of Directors will hold its meeting for the first quarter of 2024 on Tuesday, March 12th. Officers and Directors are encouraged to attend, so we may achieve a quorum and we are currently soliciting agenda items.

2024 annual dues are coming in nicely according to Treasurer Mike, but if you have not paid, please do so. They are still only $25.00 by check, cash (in-person or by mail), or PayPal via our website. This is how we keep the tubes glowing, so thanks.

Boyd Bailey’s electronics class on Saturday, February 3rd(9am in-person and via Zoom) covered dial lamps (incandescent and LED), advice on how to convert the former to the latter, and their place in antique radio circuitry. Thanks, Boyd, for skipping the quantum mechanics behind the photoelectric effect. His upcoming class is scheduled for March 3rdwith the topic and link to be sent soon.

Our auction was on Saturday, January 27th, 2024, and was a success with only 1 of the 21 items failing to sell. One item on the list was pulled, a high-end Tascam Model 32 tape machine. It has a defective capstan motor assembly chip (which is a proprietary and hard-to-find item) and member Mack White is trying to find a replacement and complete the repair. The photo below is from auction day with Tom Killian serving as MC and Secretary Grady Shook (far left) monitoring the video stream. Ray Giles (far right) did a wonderful job of organizing the auction (choosing items, cleaning them, and working with the members who tested them pre-auction).

The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club’s BirmingHAMfest https://birminghamfest.org is less than a month away but mark your calendars that it is a couple of weeks later than usual: Friday, March 15th(4:00-7:00 PM) and Saturday, the 16th (8:30AM-4:00 PM), 2024, at the Trussville Civic Center. We can always use volunteers so please let us know if you can help. We plan to have 6 tables and member Russ McGuire with help from Dave Cisco will present a forum on his “Love of DX-ing”

Our project to catalog library and radio holdings & archives and place this information into a web-searchable platform (Past Perfect) has restarted. We have purchased the computer hardware to allow us to consolidate all our documentation of library and equipment holdings in one place that, in turn, will be the platform for populating Past Perfect. We have purchased a couple of books on registration procedures and grant-writing for small museums that are helping us prepare for data uploading and resourcing the project.

I is not too early to mark your calendar for our annual Legends of Broadcast luncheon to be held Thursday, April 18th, 2024.  Please let us know you are coming so can plan the lunch.

On the lighter side, consider these two pictures:

A member reached out to us to see if there might be a vintage reel to reel tape recorder he might acquire to digitize some tapes from his personal collection. Dave Cisco had an old Webcor someone had given him that had never been powered up while in his possession; he brought it to the shop to see if it might still be functional or could be repaired. Well, the unit was inert with no motor or discernable electronic activity. I pulled it out of the case to see if something was repairable; the photo above is the “fuse” I removed from the holder and there was considerable rust and evidence of chassis moisture damage. (our in-house, master electrician Dave Johnson expressed dissatisfaction with the quality, safety and functionality of the aluminum foil wrapped around the “blown “ fuse.) It would have been easy to bypass this with an in-line holder and proper fuse; in summary, the consensus was to scavenge the tubes and retire the carcass to the “great recording studio in the sky”. Interestingly, there was an unlabeled tape on Dave’s machine, so we found another working recorder to see what was there. The content was some bad singing and a conversation between two people no one could recognize. We now have an old tape and take-up reel….

The lower photograph is a label on a box of speaker repair parts in the shop storage area downstairs. Yep, loudspeaker spiders, but a conversation starter nonetheless.

I have asked our current Board chair, Dave Cisco if he would write a bio for this issue or the next. Many members may know Dave’s history with the Society but other, recently-engaged ones may have little or no perspective on his contributions over the decades.

We are planning to have a booth at the Alabama Record Collectors show on March 1 & 2. Please review the announcement below for details. Drop by if you can.

In closing, and in keeping with our mission as a historical society, we were recently contacted by Brian Corrigan, Music Preservation Consultant to the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area. He is working on a National Register of Historic Places nomination for WZZA Radio in Tuscumbia. He asked if our Society might have materials related to the station that might be useful for research purposes or programming schedules for WJOI and WLAY. Steven W will try to help if we can find anything relevant in our archives.

Respectfully submitted,


President, AHRS


World Remowned artist and provider in broadcasting to Enter Alabama Womens Hall of Fame

Story: Lisa Sollie

The Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame will induct its two newest members at a ceremony on the University of West Alabama campus on March 7 at 11:00 a.m. at Bridges Auditorium. This year’s inductees are broadcaster Mary Olive Enslen Tinder and artist Janet Nolan.

Widely regarded as the first female broadcaster on the Eastern seaboard, Mary Olive Enslen Tinder made history when she became the first woman to radio broadcast the Indianapolis 500.

Janet Nolan spent her career using the everyday, mundane items tossed on the streets of New York City to make world-renowned installation art, transforming discarded objects into beautiful, unique treasures.

Nolan and Tinder’s inductions into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame pay homage to their outstanding contributions to art and communication. The Hall of Fame, relocated in 2021 to the University of West Alabama, is a permanent place of honor for Alabama’s most outstanding women.

The ceremony is open to the public with no cost for admission. Reservations are required for a luncheon to be held afterward at Bell Conference Center. Luncheon tickets are $50.

Born in 1905 in Wetumpka, Alabama, Tinder began her career as a book critic and lecturer until the American Cancer Society asked her to do a book review on Indianapolis radio station WIRE. Her radio spot garnered such remarkable success that the station manager asked her to host it permanently.

After a successful radio career from 1939-51, Tinder was a substitute host for a program on WCOP in Boston. This experience led to an explosive on-camera career at NBC affiliate WJAR-TV in the northeast. Tinder’s talk shows attracted the biggest celebrities, including Tony Curtis, Burl Ives, Joan Crawford, Hildegarde, Alfred Hitchcock, Marlon Brando, Carol Lombard, Merv Griffin, Debra Padgett, Louis Armstrong, and many more. By 1957, “The Olive Enslen-Tinder Show” aired three days a week with 81 percent of the market share. Tinder also appeared in a handful of movies, some with her just-as-famous Kerry Blue dog “Pam.”

Although Tinder began her career as a book critic and lecturer, often highlighting important topics such as the effects of war on literature, her work soon transitioned into radio and television broadcasting, which led to appearances in nearly 40 states and half a dozen countries.

Nolan, born in Montgomery, Alabama, was destined to be an artist after an art assignment as a second grader showed enormous promise. Her talent was displayed again in junior high when Nolan completed a sizeable multi-media assignment in exquisite detail on a city of her choosing, New York City, where she later resided after earning an undergraduate and graduate degree in Fine Arts from Auburn University and Georgia State University, respectively. In NYC, Nolan’s passion for “found art” or discarded items left on the city streets, such as gloves, pieces of plastic, hubcaps, and umbrella skeletons, led to her fashioning remarkable works of art.

Her commissions included works for major universities and hospitals, and her sculptures and drawings were exhibited in galleries and museums in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Sun Valley, Mobile, Auburn, and Denver. In New York, the artist donated two reliquaries, whose purpose is to protect and display relics, to the World Trade Center. Also of note is Nolan’s “Nightingale,” created using umbrella skeletons and triangles of fiberglass that soar 57 feet into the top of an atrium, which is a permanent installation in the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building on the campus of Harvard University.

Nolan once said, “The theme of redeeming unwanted objects and repurposing them into a new context has been central to my artmaking since the late 70s. Stripping these discarded items of their identity to exploit their material has never been my goal. Rather, I endeavor through my practice to shift the expectation of their function and, in doing so, elevate them from depleted debris to vibrant art.”

The Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1970 to honor the lives of outstanding women from the state of Alabama. Inductees must be deceased for two years, be from or affiliated with Alabama, and be selected by unanimous vote of the board of directors of the AWHF. The board comprises a cross-section of the state and represents broad areas of interest.

For more information, email Valerie Burnes, University of West Alabama history professor and the Hall of Fame’s executive secretary, at vburnes@uwa.edu or call (205) 652-3856. The deadline for luncheon reservations is February 28.

You can not make this stuff up…..

Below is a copy of a letter sent from the Federal Communications Comision (FCC) to radio station WALA in Mobile, Alabama on October 13, 1949. I will post the answer next month. Stay turned to this spot on your dial!

Quote of the Month

“I would refuse to join any club that would have me as a member”

-Julius Henry (Groucho) Marx

We meet every Saturday (unless a Holiday weekend) at 8:30 A.M. until around 11:30 A.M., at the one-story AHRS Shop at the corner of 8th Avenue North and 18th Street, (1801 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203). Please use the rear (Southeast) entrance.

The Shop is open on Tuesdays at 8:30 A.M. until around 11:30 A.M. Note that parking can be a problem on Tuesdays, so you may have to find street parking occasionally.

Regular monthly members meetings are on the fourth Monday night starting at 7:00 PM with the Executive Meeting starting at 6:30 PM

Please come join us!

The electronics classes are generally on “Zoom” and “in-person” at the AHRS Shop, typically the first Saturday of each month (except when something special is taking place, then we agree on an alternative Saturday)

Check your emails for the schedule and how to participate.

We start from the beginning Ohms Law, inductors, resistor and Capacitors color codes, as well as what each component does within the radio circuits. We also teach how to use test equipment used in the repairing of radios. We teach troubleshooting radio troubles, as well as how to read a radio diagram.

Currently the class is studying advance topics relating to troubleshooting and project radio repair. We are retooling our website in hopes of archiving prior classes for those who may have missed a prior class. Email will provide timely details on date, topics & links.

There are coil winding classes, and one-on-one repair help. Come join these classes!

Membership dues are $25.00 a year, payable beginning in January. If you have questions about your dues, you can contact Treasurer Mike Woodruff at 205-823-7204. Dues can be mailed to AHRS at P.O. Box 131418, Birmingham, Alabama 35213 or paid on-line at https://alhrs.org

Be sure and check out our website at https://alhrs.org, which has copies of all newsletters from 2006 to the present (click on News), videos, photo galleries, museum, Old Time Radio columns, Projects, Reading Rooms, Archives, and Contact Information. Within the next few months we hope to update our website and add additional content and new capabilities

President – Richard “Wag” Waguespack

(205) 531-9528


Vice President – Steven Westbrook

(205) 305-0679


Recording Secretary – Grady Shook

(205) 281-3007


Treasurer – Mike Woodruff

(205) 823-7204


Boyd Bailey, Member and Instructor

(334) 412-6996


Newsletter Editor/Webmaster – Steven Westbrook

(205) 305-0679


Web Address:


E-mail Address:


Youtube Channel: Alabama Historical Radio Society - YouTube