June 2024


Our most recent monthly business meeting was Monday June 24th and highlights are included in the current newsletter. Remember our next monthly business meeting at the Shop and via Zoom is scheduled for Monday, July 22, 2024, as usual at 7:00 PM. The link remains:

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 863 3057 9924

Passcode: 631140

Those pesky internet outages at the Shop were not fixed remotely, alas! However, we had a tech visit who replaced some of the connectors inside the building and replaced the modem and router. So far, so good and hopefully, the glitches have been corrected.

We learned that Harry Butler who authored the book Alabama’s First Radio Stations 1920 -1960 History of Radio Broadcasting in Alabama, died this last week at age 90. He was working on its 2ndEdition. Several members who knew him well visited Rainbow City on Friday, June 28, to attend his celebration of life and meet with the family. The Society will miss him and hopes to work with the family to help assure the revised book is published.

Harry Butler and daughter, Laurie Butler Mayben at the 2024 Legends of Broadcast Event.

Boyd Bailey’selectronics class scheduled for June will be postponed until July 13th at 9:00 AM, In person at the Society Shop and on Zoom. Subjects include:

  1. Fundamentals of the dim bulb tester and making an isolation transformer with AC-DC chassis safety
  2. Repair and restoration of a 1962 VW Beetle AM radio (this was a very cool project with lots of learning points!).

He will plan to shift to solid state topics thereafter.

Our latest auction on Saturday the 15thwas a result of the hard work of Ray Giles, Tom Killian, Grady Shook, Maurice Hill, John Herndon, and Dave Keen. We sold 18 of 20 offerings to offset our operating expenses.

Auctioneer Tom Killian, Ray Giles (with his back to us) and Boyd Bailey (our video/computer guy) & Devin White during the auction.

The Huntsville Hamfest is approaching, and we plan to be there on Saturday, August 17th, 2024. We surely can use volunteers to help select items, transport them, and man the tables. Please let us know if you can help! We really need assists from those with ham experience to help select items of potential interest to attendees.

The antique books we purchased from Jim Kreuzer (AWA Librarian and Assistant Curator) and his wife Felicia last month have been cataloged and are being integrated into our library.

The Society will host the July monthly meeting of the Alabama Record Collectors Association at the Society Shop of Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 2:00 PM. All are welcome.

A teaser for next time:

Joe Dentici III brought his two kids to the shop to visit the radio studio his father ran which is now one of our exhibits. During his visit, we recorded a short oral history of his time working at the station while showing the children how their granddad broadcast primarily 1960’s Top 40 music.

In closing, as we recognize the upcoming July 4th celebration and the recent 80th commem- oration of D-Day, let us remember the sacrifices made for the USA by our forebears and those among us now. Personally, I plan to continue at the Birmingham VA Medical Center for some months to come. My wife and I took our extended family of sons and their families to visit the area near Munich and Salzburg a few weeks ago. Seeing the first concentration camp at Dachau, Hitler’s Eagles Nest, and BBC coverage of D-Day (the only English language TV at our hotel), hopefully keeps this in perspective for the next couple of generations.

Hitler’s Eagles Nest

Respectfully submitted,


President, AHRS


And Now, a Special Bonus: The first installment about the illustrious and industrious career of AHRS Board Chairman David L. Cisco is continued herein and focuses on his other, non-radio accomplishments.

Dave’s college career began at Birmingham Southern College, and he started working part time at Barber Colman while maintaining his full-time academic schedule. On December 15, 1959, he married Celeste and moved the following year to Atlanta, transferring to Georgia Tech and finishing his BS in physics in 1963. (I got mine in 1970 from LSUNO.) He then relocated.to Rockford Illinois, as a product design engineer for Barber Colman, but returned in 1965 to Birmingham, to work at Southern Research Institute (SRI) as a physicist. He was involved with multiple projects there, including one with the US Army developing a “people sniffer” to identify humans under a jungle canopy. This took him to the Panama Canal area where he logged 600+ hours operating this experimental equipment from Huey helicopters. (I guess that’s one way to avoid the draft, which I did by joining the Army Reserves as a military interrogator…)

In 1972 Dave took private flying lessons and became quite the entrepreneur when he left SRI for Medical Technology Corporation, servicing high-end medical diagnostic equipment. This evolved into a company with 12 employees, which was sold to Instrument Control Service for which he served as a VP, helping grow it to 6 locations with 42 employees. In 1984 he began work for UAB and left 3 years later when he purchased Dixie Speaker Repair Service. He rejoined the medical service industry in 1990 as Cisco Enterprises Corporation and retired in 2003 to travel and enjoy his hobbies, radio and flying. 20 years on he has logged all 50 states and 23 countries and after 65 years of marriage to Celeste, has 6 great grandchildren. (I have some catching up to do in terms of states and countries visited, absence of great grandkids, and have only been married 55 years, though sometimes it feels like…. just yesterday. In terms of employment since finishing training, I have only worked for Norwood Clinic and in my own private practice, until moving in 2013 to work for “the man” at UAB and the VA.)

Dave has been a pilot for 20+ years during which he’s logged 1200 hours. In his spare time, he did real estate investment and, with his partners, owned over 50 rental units in the Birmingham area.

Let me commend Dave for all he has done personally and professionally, especially for his furtherance of radio, its history, and the AHRS. Some more laps to go, sir!

Respectfully authored by Wag with Dave supplying the primary source material.

Dave & Celeste Cisco at the 2024 Legends of Broadcast event


Radio in Paris

The PBS NOVA series recently aired a great piece, “Building the Eiffel Tower”. According to this documentary, a key factor in saving the Tower after its initial 20-year lease opening the 1989 Paris World’s Fair was its role in radio. In 1898, the first radio telegram was broadcast to the Pantheon 4km away and a permanent station was installed soon thereafter. Its strategic usefulness in communications was recognized such that The Tower’s life was extended on Jan 1, 1910, another 70 years. (Yes, the Tower’s fate was very uncertain in the early 1900’s as other buildings associated with the Fair were taken down!) Military uses evolved and it played a role during both World Wars. Very recently a new transmitter tower was placed atop the 1000 foot/300 meter structure for digital services.

Another source of information is https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/news/130-years/why-was-eiffel-tower-keptThis photo is from the article and sourced:


Quote of the Month

“Man was made at the end of the week when God was tired.”

- Mark Twain

“Those who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

-Isaac Asimov

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