History of the OKVRC

When and Where the Club Meets

The OKVRC meets at the The Golden Corral at 1501 S Sooner Rd, Midwest City, OK 73110 on the second Saturday of each month except in April and October, which are the months of our Spring and Fall Swap Meets. For the Swap Meets, we meet at the Nick Harroz-Midwest City Community Center, 200 N Midwest Boulevard, Midwest City, OK 73130. Check the Calendar and click on a meeting or swap meet date to get details regarding a meeting or swap meet.

Beginning in April 2023, the club will hold its bi-annual swap meets at the Mustang Community Center in Mustang, OK. Look for more details in our newsletter.

OKVRC Swap Meets

The first OKVRC swap meet was held in April of 1992 at the OSU extension building at 10th and Portland. It was on the second floor, but luckily it did have an elevator. Unluckily, one of our members fell in that elevator. Turned out he was OK, but at 80 years old, falling down is never a good thing.

The tradition of a silent auction was born early for the club. At the first one there was a special radio up for auction. Two men were equally interested in it, so they began bidding against each other. One of the men was a bit too over-the-top, though. You see, there was only one pen for the auction, so one of the bidders wrote down what he hoped would be his last bid, and decided to win by keeping the pen for himself. The other man was so mad about it that he left the swap meet and said he’d never come to another one. (Apologies to that man, wherever and whoever he is.)

The Club Newsletter

Early club newsletters were written and provided by Karen McCoy and Jim Collings. Showing Jim’s conservative side and strong desire to see that club members got their money’s worth, Jim would take the newsletter to Kinkos and print it on 11 x 17 paper and fold it into the original four pages of the newsletter. Why that size? Well, back then, you could print one double-sided 11x17 page for less than you could print four pages on 8-1/2x11. It was extra work for Jim and Karen, but work is something from which neither of them shied away.

Eventually, responsibility for the newsletter changed hands to Tom Lazynski and later to Dale McLellan. Today Raymond Cady and his wife, Dorothy, take responsibility for designing, assembling, editing, emailing, and printing and mailing the newsletter. Sometimes they even write articles, but they would love to have members and even non-member radio enthusiasts write articles for the newsletter. Dorothy, with a master’s degree in creative writing, says she’s quite willing to clean up your writing if you need her to, so don’t be shy about sharing your knowledge. That’s what our members are looking for. Just send your rough article to the newsletter editor whose contact information can be found in a recent newsletter.

How the Club was Formed

Luckily it’s not too hard to picture five or six antique radio enthusiasts sitting around sharing a good meal and radio-related conversation when one of them suggests starting a radio club, which effectively describes how the idea for the Oklahoma Vintage Radio Collectors club (OKVRC) was formed. The group agreed that the gentleman from Moore, Oklahoma, had the right idea, so in 1992, the group held its first official meeting in Karen McCoy’s kitchen where they elected officers. Their choice for president? It was Jim Collings, of course. Jim’s eyes twinkle when he recalls how he was unable to attend that first official meeting, but if he had any suspicions that the members elected him just because he wasn’t there, twenty-five re-elections since then must have confirmed for him that there was more behind his election than last man out.

About the Original Club Members

Though the club started out with only a handful of radio lovers, it grew over the years, and as can be expected with any specialized club, membership fluctuates. Of the original founding members, we’re sure that some are now educating the angels on how to properly tune and care for an antique radio, while others found greener (or at least different) earthly pastures to tread. Many, including Jim Collings, continue their participation in the club and have never lost their love and enthusiasm for the club, its members, and antique radio collecting.
If you asked Jim what one thing he’d like to see happen to the club, he’d tell you that he’d love to see new and younger enthusiasts join OKVRC. Jim’s not about growing the club membership roster for the sake of numbers, but he’d love to see enthusiasm for antique radios blossom among the younger generations to keep it alive for future generations, too. Although radio began as little more than scientific curiosity, it grew into a practical communications technology that effectively catalogued and reported the history of the United States as it was happening. To lose that history and the wonderful radios that represent it would be a great loss.