The story’s protagonist is a government employee, Cordeil, who locates an extraordinary radio sitting on one of an overstuffed and forgotten warehouse shelves. The radio had been there for decades. It was the exact radio he needed to complete the restoration of a 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible given to him by his grandfather. When I started writing the story, I didn’t have a specific car in mind. However, I knew what I wanted the radio to look like, which led me to begin looking through pictures of old cars.
The radio wasn’t the only thing required about the car, but it was the starting point. I also wanted the car to be a convertible for no other reason than I like convertibles. Finally, I wanted the car to be a model worth being handed down through generations. There are many incredible vehicles worthy of collecting, but this one had to be special to the original owner. Something he would’ve obtained after World War II as a treat for having survived. As I continually narrowed down the choices, I eventually decided on a Cadillac. It was the car my father considered the one you buy when you want to treat yourself to the lap of luxury.
I was surprised to find Cadillac, rather than naming their cars during this period, simply numbered them. As I started looking through the various models they had available, the Series 62 caught my eye immediately. With the choice being made, I wanted to get a close-up view of the car. Unfortunately, in the middle of COVID I couldn’t go to an automobile museum. A model would have to be the stand-in, and I found one that was part of an estate sale being conducted on eBay.
As I wrote, I imagined myself as Cordeil sitting in the car and going through the motions of the story. Opening and slamming doors, crawling underneath, and eventually installing the radio acquired from the warehouse leads to the story’s climax.
Now, the model sits on my desk. I still pick it up and play with it occasionally, so it’s not gathering too much dust yet. But every time I look at it, I’m reminded of the story, and I smile.
Here's a full description of the Beyond AM Radio,
When Cordeil starts a new job, he discovers an antique car radio he needs to finish restoring his 1947 Cadillac. It might be perfect, but it is stored in a strictly controlled government warehouse, and taking it would be a federal crime. Over time, Cordeil convinces himself that since the radio has been sitting there for half a century untouched, stealing it will do no harm. Unbeknownst to him, he will not realize the true cost of his decision until he powers it up for the first and possibly last time.
Beyond AM Radio is one of four short stories in POMSILv2, available in AudioBook, Paperback & eBook.