Scanning for fun: Toledo man reflects on 50 years in radio business (Ohio)

What other people might call a museum, Jerry O’Reilly calls a hobby.

Mr. O’Reilly has been fixing, building, and collecting radios for nearly his entire life. Now, at 73 years old, he owns thousands of models, spread across three stories in a brick building in downtown Toledo. CB radios. Ham radios. Heathkit radios, which he started building as a cub scout in the 1950s.

For 50 years, he has operated a radio repair business in the city for individuals and organizations alike. He’s still in business, kind of, though he’s semi-retired. He’s also in all likelihood the only game in town when it comes to his line of work, meaning the police, the fire department, local hospitals — anyone who uses radios and scanners — comes to him when they need a tune up.

“Right now, I’m just having fun,” he said.

His shop is on the first floor of his building in downtown Toledo. The first floor is also where he keeps most of his hundreds of CB radios.

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