Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Stories and info about those no longer involved in the industry

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby rtirdnewsguy » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:58 pm

From what I read here - this was a sudden and shocking departure which makes it very tough for those closest to him.
I never met Eldon but always enjoyed his posts where we could clearly see his patient and kind nature and that extensive knowledge of the radio industry.
Special condolences to Ted W - its really hard to lose a good friend.
My sincere sympathies as well to all his friends and family !
Advanced Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:36 pm

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby mwdxer » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:13 pm

I also was shocked to hear this as he was a dear friend for many years. I just talked to Eldon on the phone a week ago and he wasn't feeling well, claiming to have acid reflex, but I had no idea he was that ill. Eldon and I go back to 1970 when I first met him with fellow DXer, Bill Block at his parents house in Surrey BC, and we were on the air at C-Fay 1360. Eldon was 19 and I was 21. We later went up the same year, 1970 to attend the IRCA convention in Vancouver. We have been friends for many years. Besides Bill and I visiting with Eldon and his family several times through the years, later with my partner (Bob Rusk, who passed in 2002), visited with Eldon in Surrey BC many times. He will be greatly missed. I will miss his frequent phone calls and all of the survey's we exchanged along with other mail from both Langley BC and Baltimore Ont. Rest in Peace my friend.

Seaside OR
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:15 am

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby Glen Livingstone » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:29 pm

I was having a pretty good weekend up until around 7:30 last night when Ted phoned to tell me the news that a long time mutual friend of ours had died in an Ontario hospital earlier that morning.

I'm still not entirely sure what happened, all I know is that Eldon Luoma, a pal I've known for almost fifty years is gone at the age of 64. It had been a while - quite a while - since I last saw or spoke to him.

He had moved from Langley, B.C. to Coburg, Ontario three years ago. There'd been occasional phone calls back and forth and we kept in touch through Facebook but that was about it.

Every once in awhile a birthday card would arrive in the mail with a cheery hand-written message from Eldon; often there'd be a Top 40 chart from some long forgotten radio station tucked inside, or perhaps a ticket for one of the upcoming Ontario lotteries.

It's odd that you expect people that you've known forever to always be around until one day - suddenly, they're not.

Knowing that I was interested in radio, a neighbour of my grandparents gave me Eldon's phone number sometime in 1967 or '68 and suggested that I get in touch with him. I called him and we hit it off. He had set up a low-powered 'pirate' radio station in a shack in the backyard of his parents North Surrey home and invited me around to check it out, and that's exactly what I did.

Eldon had chosen the call letters CFAY for his radio station and spray-painted them on the shack's front door.

"This is fantastic" I thought - it was something I'd always wanted to do myself and Eldon already had his extremely illegal operation up and running. I wanted in.

He'd built the transmitter and studio himself using a combination of old World War II army surplus gear and various parts he'd purchased from Radio Shack. He already had a full roster of on air 'talent' comprised mostly of friends from the neighbourhood but he promised to give me few weekend shifts to do when they became available. I was thrilled.

As if this wasn't already about the coolest thing ever, I found out that Eldon had written to Elektra Records in Los Angeles and somehow managed to con his way onto their mailing list to receive free promotional copies of the latest 45's.

He had copies of "Down On the Street" by the Stooges, "Break on Through" by The Doors, "My Little Red Book" by Love, and "Run Out Of Time" by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The CFAY playlist was completely unrestricted and we played whatever the hell we wanted.

In addition to the CFAY library, all of us were bringing in our own records from home to augment the playlist so my show featured a lot of music by Canned Heat, the Velvet Underground, the Deviants and Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. It didn't really seem to matter to Eldon, he loved it all.

We were constantly giving out the CFAY 'Love Line' phone number which happened to be Eldon's parents personal home phone number. I'm sure they couldn't have been more thrilled.

After a couple of years of this the real world reared its ugly head. It was time to get a job, time to move on and that's what I did. After almost fifty years my memory of those days is a little vague but I think Eldon managed to keep CFAY on the air sometime into the early seventies.

Eldon was a dedicated hobbyist who collected records, radio station Top 40 charts, bumper stickers and coverage maps and eventually turned his love for radio into a career, building customized loop antennas which he marketed to enthusiasts across North America. Over his lifetime he maintained a strong interest in low power and small market community and campus radio stations and became quite an expert on the subject.

Throughout his life Eldon cared passionately about his love for his family and friends, and everyone he encountered along the way is a better person for having known him.

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Farewell old friend, you will be sorely missed.
User avatar
Glen Livingstone
Advanced Member
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 8:12 pm

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby PMC » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:35 pm

A sad surprise, my condolences to family and friends. I will miss his chatter.

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby Tom Jeffries » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:14 pm

Glen - your touching tribute to Eldon was one of the most heartfelt and best written, I have ever read.

To have a friend like you - Eldon was lucky, too.

Well done. sir.
Tom Jeffries
Advanced Member
Posts: 673
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby Toomas Losin » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:29 pm

I never met Eldon but from his posts here he seemed like a kindred spirit radio hardware hacker[*] and DXer who went a lot further with the hardware hacking than I ever did. It was always good to read his ragchew-style posts. I'll miss them. My condolences to all.

* The classic, and proper, definition of hack, of course.
Toomas Losin
Advanced Member
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:33 am

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby Jack Bennest » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:30 am

A great tribute Glen
User avatar
Jack Bennest
Advanced Member
Posts: 4626
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:25 pm

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby bigbry » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:25 pm

This is rather shocking news. Going to miss "Mr CFAY" loved his posts. My hearts goes out to his family.
User avatar
Advanced Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 7:05 am
Location: Saskatoon

Re: Eldon "Mr. CFAY" has passed away

Postby mwdxer » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:32 am


What a great walk down memory lane. You knew Eldon a few years before Bill and I met him, but I remember well our trips to Surrey and visiting CFAY and all of his friends.Running across the yard over to Mrs. Ashby's. Those were really wonderful days. As a young person, you think they would go on forever. It is so hard to believe Eldon is gone. But we have a wonderful great memories. A DXer in Seattle heard CFAY back in the early 70s. I was never that fortunate in Seaside OR, but Eldon I believe sent him a QSL.

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:15 am


Return to Radio People History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests