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“I Buy ALL the Collins Around Here,” Richie Galardi, WA1DEJ, SK

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Author Topic: “I Buy ALL the Collins Around Here,” Richie Galardi, WA1DEJ, SK  (Read 2430 times)
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Posts: 537

« on: July 22, 2021, 05:59:35 AM »

Sorry if this is off topic but this story needs to be told. I just heard that Richie Galardi became a SK early in 2020.

Richie’s call for the last fifteen years or so was W4DEJ; but we knew him as WA1DEJ.  Richie was originally from Revere Mass but moved to FL about 15-20 years ago and we haven’t seen him since.  He wasn’t actually a friend; we all had encounters with him and knew him well.  After he moved to FL we actually missed seeing him and I even invited him to NEAR-Fest once.

Todd KA1KAQ once had a funny run-in with him at Hosstraders when it was at Rainchester NH in the 1990s.  Todd was looking at some Collins gear.  Richie came up to him and asked the seller how much,  Todd said that he was still looking at it and he would have to wait.  Richie said to Todd “I buy all the Collins around here”.  Todd told him that may be so but not this one because he bought it just to piss Ritchie off which it did.  I actually saw this take place and we still laugh about it all the time.  I once got into it with Richie over a GRP-90 manual but that was all forgotten when he moved away and we missed seeing him around.

The AMers used to call him “Greaser Rick” because he was heavily into auto racing; in the later years he raced jet cars.  Richie looked like a real “goombah” with the huge gold cross and chains....  We always said if you were making a movie and needed a “made guy” you would call Central Casting and they would send Richie.   We used to see him at all the fleas in the old days.  He must have had a ton of stuff.  He never sold anything at the fleas; carried a huge wad of hundreds and bought a lot of stuff.

Richie used to have a store for a while in the 90s called the Hobby Factory in Revere.  He had a bunch of boatanchors for sale.  He even advertised in Electric Radio with insane prices.  I visited the store one time and I remember a Command Set receiver in a glass case priced at $250.

Attached is a picture of his station.  Looks like he did “buy all the Collins.....”

Rest in peace, Richie.......

* 70B09728-F05B-41C5-8942-79E8018E4555.jpeg (61.9 KB, 800x600 - viewed 451 times.)

"It is a good thing we don't get the government we pay for."  Will Rogers.
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2021, 06:06:59 AM »

Another great Richie story that I was fortunate enough to witness and capture a great photo........

Phil, K1DFC, was a long-time flea market vendor who made and sold photocopies of radio manuals. If you habe been around for over twenty yearsbyou probably will remember him.  He was a very nice guy; his copies were high quality and prices were reasonable.  He hardly ever had the opportunity to look for stuff in the morning because he was too busy setting up to sell his manuals.

At this particular flea, as Phil’s luck would have it, he happened to be standing where a pickup pulled into the space right by him that had some radios in the back.  Phil spotted some good stuff and got the several items for $400.00.  Richie was standing right there and was extremely pissed off that he didn't get them.  I took the picture of the stuff on the hand truck with Phil smiling (as you would expect) and Richie looking really unhappy.

Phil’s comment:  “Every once in a while even a blind squirrel finds an acorn!”

Yes, you are right, that is a SX-88!

* 9308BA89-D476-4FFF-B707-5556B9E2FAC6.jpeg (314.07 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 478 times.)

"It is a good thing we don't get the government we pay for."  Will Rogers.

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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2021, 03:51:54 PM »

Great Photo Mike,  I certainly Remember Phil Carpenter, He Worked for Industrial Electronics in Wilbraham, MA for many Years.
Todd, KA1KAQ

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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2021, 09:14:08 AM »

That picture is indeed worth a thousand words. And by the look on Rich's face, many of them can't be shared here!

So a bit of clarity to the story Mike told. It took place at Hosstraders some years back. I had purchased a pile-o-modules and parts for my Collins KWT-6 aka URC-32 from KA1SRD (can't recall his name, but he was from the Fitchburg area & serviced them for CD) and had them sitting behind my table. Along came Rich, and it went sideways from there:

Rich: "Hey, you - this yer stuff?? How much for those Collins parts back there?"

Me:  "Not for sale."

Rich  "Not for sale??? Whaddaya mean? 'Course they're for sale! How much??"

Me:  "No, they're not."

Rich: "I need those for my URC-32. You have to sell them to me."

Me:  "No, I don't."

Rich: "Yes you do! I buy all the Collins around here!"

Me:  "Apparently not."

Rich: "Look, I have a URC-32 project that I need those for. You have to sell those to me or you have to buy mine."

Me:  "No, I really don't."

It went on for another 5-10 minutes. Anyone who knew Rich knows he could be a bit....loud and abrasive when he was wheelin' and dealin'. In this case it got him nowhere and he eventually gave up and left, though he did stop back numerous times to see if I'd suddenly had a change of heart.

Had another encounter with Rich over the phone a few years later. He tracked me down after hearing that I had a KW-1 and attempted to convince me that I had to sell it to him because he was the only person on earth with the means to pay for it, he'd already had 5 or 6 of them, and (of course) he buys all the Collins gear. Outcome was the same, though the experience was considerably different. As Mike mentioned, if you called Central Casting and asked for a mob knee-breaker, this is the guy they used to create the mold. I'm sure it helped him 'persuade' some folks to sell to him over the years.

Last time I saw Rich was at Hopkinton Hosstraders probably 20 years ago. He was set up on a small grass knoll with a blanket covered with National NCX-1000 parts he'd gotten at the auction when National went out. He was very subdued, almost didn't recognize him.

Mike & I had talked many times about inviting Rich to NEAR-Fest and Mike did so, but Rich never made the trip. Too bad, because as we've both said many times - you couldn't write a novel with a better cast of characters than those we've known in the ham community. Rich, Irb, Blown away Bob, Deano/Kleean-X, etc etc.

Time marches on.....

known as The Voice of Vermont in a previous life
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