I like typewriters. I don’t know why, but I do. It could be the sound they make when someone is feverishly typing away. I used to hear my mother typing late into the night when I was young – often on my father’s dissertation for his Ph.D.. Or, it could be the romanticism for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner forming the classics of their age without the aid of automatic spell-check and grammar correction. There are a lot of connections to these old machines.
Whatever the reason may be, I have a thing for these old beasts. I only have two at this point, which is actually two more than I need – there is no need for another collection in the house. I already have enough cars and trains and books and … or at least some would say I have enough. But is too many ever enough?
The most recent addition to my typewriter fetish came this weekend at a friend’s estate sale. It is a late 1950s Remington Travel-Riter complete with its carrying case. Maybe early ’60s? It was a bargain. How could I resist?
The first typewriter I bought a few months back is a 1940s Underwood. I saw it advertised on Craigslist nearby so went over just to take a look. I found it sitting there in a little flea market on its own typing table looking wonderful in its aging black and gold finish. It spoke to me. Hell, it called to me. Again, How could I resist?
I promise though, I am going to try to stop at two. I really don’t need a bunch of old typewriters cluttering up the house. Besides, I still need to work on my pen collection. And did I mention belt buckles? So I will stop at just two … unless I find a really old one.
First off I would like to apologize to all who read my blog as soon as it comes out. I have discovered that the quickest and easiest way to proofread anything I have written is to just hit the “publish” button. Same probably works with email. As soon as you make the work public you will begin to notice all the small spelling errors, incorrect word choices, and mixtures of tense. I try to go back and correct these as quickly as possible, but those of you who get immediate notice of the posting or are Johnny-on-the-spot and read it as soon as I post it online will get to see all my gory and glorifying errors. Really quite shameful. Especially for an English major. We all know that spellcheckers and other such grammar tools cannot find all little errors. It takes time, it takes reflection on what you wrote, and it takes rereading with a keen eye and ear. None of that seems to happen until I hit the publish button.
Well, enough of that apologizing and self flagellation. Today’s exercise, number nineteen of thirty-one, is something that is near and dear to my heart, something that drives those who live with me nuts, for today I am asked to describe, “what do you collect?” That is both a dangerous and a broad subject. We can start with the fact that I am a collector of all things involving around British cars. Not just the cars themselves you understand, but books about the cars, emblems from the cars, models of the cars, publicity posters, videos of the cars and car races, well I think you get the idea. Basically if I run across almost anything that has to do with old British cars I will collect it and try to find some spot for it in my home or office. The more esoteric the better.
If that’s not enough on the large side, I am also a train and trolley collector. Unfortunately I have no actual prototype real-size trains or trolleys (not that I haven’t tried), so I have to make up for that by collecting the same tonnage in model trains. Next week in fact I will be at the NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) convention in Atlanta for four days. My wife is going with me, and boy is she thrilled. And as is inevitable with a collection like this, not only do I collect the model trains and track and scenery and buildings that all go together to create a scene, I also collect the aforementioned books, movies, posters, belt buckles, and anything else you can think of that has to do railroading. Continue reading “The Collector – Exercise #19”