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Monday, May 2, 2022

 


"Hi, my name is Rich -- I have a typewriter problem."

"Hi, Rich."

My problem became evident this weekend when I unpacked my fifth typewriter. And the photo above is the typewriter I keep at work, technically the sixth.  (See, when you're hiding typewriters, it's a problem.)

The addiction has been ongoing. I once had 40 typewriters dating all the way back to 1892 -- just 20 years after the introduction of the first commercial machine.

But I was moving from Richmond, Ind., to Valparaiso, Ind., without a team of movers and saw the collection as a bigger pain in the butt than it was worth. When I told my friend Angie I had to sell the typewriters, she gasped audibly. Yes, we treated the sale as a death in the family.

I held on to just two, my first, purchased at the newspaper in Wisconsin Rapids for $5 and ably brought back to working condition by a retired repairman who likely worked on the first model. The other is a bright pink Royal purchased for my kid when she was into pink, about age five.

She once invited a friend over to play "newspaper" -- not unlike what I play -- and her friend lightly brushed the keys as one does with the modern computer.

"No," Clare said. "You have to plunge them" echoing my words and how she was raised.

Slowly, slowly, the problem return. Friends would give me one and then I'd see a pristine Underwood at a good price. All it needed was a ribbon, which you can still buy in the dark corners of the internet.

I do not have plans to rid myself of any of the current machines, as all have a use for different purposes. I'm using an electric as I take notes about a future book project that I believe, humbly, will change the world.

For now, though, no more typewriters. I can control myself.

I swear.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and a decent writing machine unto you my brothers and sisters.


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