Gary Streeter is the owner and technician of BiState Vintage Radio Repair, LLC. He has a favorite story that illustrates his interest in bringing tube radios and other antique electronics back to life. In the late 1940s television was just beginning to gain popularity. A young boy was asked if he preferred radio or television, the interviewer expecting to hear excitement about this newest medium. The boy answered, “Radio because the pictures are better.”
Over 50 years ago, Streeter was fascinated by radio kits and did lawn mowing and odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money for weekend trips to Radio Shack. As a freshman in high school, he was given a derelict ham radio. His mom drove him to the repair shop, and the owner, Thomas Webb, recognized Streeter’s keen interest. “He asked me if my mom could bring me to his shop a couple afternoons a week after school,” Streeter reminisces. “I thought he would let me look over his shoulder as he made repairs on my radio. Instead, Mr. Webb handed me pliers and a soldering iron and showed me how to fix my old Hallicrafters radio. I still use that radio regularly.” Streeter remains grateful for the knowledge and tricks of the trade Mr. Webb was able to teach him.
Streeter continued to repair and restore radios for himself and others for decades before turning it into a full-time job. He chuckles as he says, “When I thought about starting a full-time business, I worried about having enough business to support it.” Now he is so busy he can barely keep up and maintains a lengthy waiting list for his meticulous attention. BiStateVintage Radio Repair, LLC, is a mom-and-pop business in the true American tradition of entrepreneurial spirit. Streeter is the only technician performing this dying art in his shop, and his customers express their gratitude regularly that he is here to provide this service.
Streeter is a proud member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, an exclusive organization for people who have been amateur radio [ham] operators for 25 years or more. Streeter is honored to also be a member of the Radio Club of America, the oldest, most prestigious group of wireless communications professionals in the world. Its members are dedicated to the wireless art and science for the betterment of society, and they must be elected and vetted to be granted membership.
BiState Vintage Radio Repair primarily services the greater St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area, but will consider mail-order services. Each repair or restoration is unique and requires unique service. Streeter has the experience and integrity to return these heirlooms to their original glory. He notes, “When these radios and phonographs leave here, they will be better than new. When they were new, they were built on an assembly line. Here I will give each piece individualized tender loving care.”