Memories of PARS Secretary Ed McGuigan
By PARS Member Lou Gaetano
Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society member Edward McGuigan passed away in December, 2016. He will be missed.
Ed was a good friend of mine. He had visited me on an average of about once a week for the past 20 years. He usually
brought at least one radio for repair each time he came. We would go to the workshop and pull the latest victim (radio)
apart and see what was wrong with it. During this time, we would talk about everything from pies to politics, radios to
Ed was very generous, always offering help with whatever project I was working on. Ever since my Parkinson’s diagnosis, and
the doctor’s subsequent warnings about driving, Ed would always offer me rides wherever I wanted to go. I had to try not to
take advantage too much! After all, Ed lived in Trafford and I live in Allegheny Township (borders Lower Burrell). To give me a ride,
Ed would have to drive for almost an hour to get me, then drive me where I was going, then another hour home. He actually did
not seem to mind and always offered the next ride when he dropped me off. He almost always brought some radio goody
when he came like rare tubes, radio parts he had come across, etc. Sometimes the goodies also included something from
Angie’s kitchen, too.
One really great example of Ed’s generosity was a Philco 89 cathedral radio he gave melast year. It wasn’t the radio, but the way he
gave me the radio that impressed me. He brought it with him for one of his usual visits. The chassis was a real basket case. It had
components missing, wires cut, speaker cone missing and lots of bad stuff. He told me he wanted this one restored to be as
good as I could make it - and- he wanted an invoice for it. It took me a couple weeks to get all the parts together to repair the
chassis and I partially re-finished the cabinet, installed new grille cloth, etc. In other words, it wasn’t a real cheap repair!
When I told him it was ready, he came to pick it up. He pulled out his wallet and paid me for repairing it. I handed him the radio.
He took it, spun gracefully 360 degrees, handed it back to me and said “Merry Christmas!” I was kind of speechless for a
minute or two and tried to insist that he either keep the radio or the money, but he was persistent - he wanted me to have
I always tried to find something interesting to show Ed the next time he came. I find myself still saving stuff up, then realizing he
won’t be coming to see it. I’ll say it again. He will be missed!