Tuesday, August 20, 2019

How it started

I wrote my first stories on a typewriter like this. Or, rather, I typed my first stories. I wrote plenty before that, but my handwriting has never been all that good, so when I discovered typing, it was the way to go.

My dad was a Philadelphia firefighter, but like most of them, he also had a part-time job (both because such an important job didn't pay enough, and because he wanted to keep me in sufficient toys; I was an only child). His part-time job was a shared maintenance gig at a local college - he and two of his friends split the job between them; the college didn't care who did what, so long as the hours were covered.

He brought home random interesting things that were going to be thrown away, and one day he hauled in this ancient, black Olivetti typewriter, the kind that was completely open on top and had black and white enamel keys.

It was very similar to this one which I trashpicked a few years ago, my old one having disappeared during a later childhood move (thanks, Mom). This typewriter lives in a corner of the room that serves as our library/my office, otherwise known as the house's original dining room.


patsijean said...

Mothers..... my mother took all of my high-school Prom dresses down to Port Huron, MI to a consignment shop during my first year of college. She explained that we weren't poor, and Mama bought me nice dresses for Prom, but there were lots of girls who were poor and they would like to have a nice dress too. True enough, but what later happened to the nice suits I made during my Jr. and Sr. years of college? Not to mention my Rocky and Bullwinkle lunch box that disappeared during my Sr. year. That is no mystery. She threw it away because she did not want it under her kitchen sink. Apparently, no, she could not just take it and put it in my bedroom. Your typewriter is beautiful and I am glad you were able to find a twin.

Pam said...

Karen - I so enjoy your posts. This one took me back to my childhood when my dad taught me how to type. (He was a court reporter at the time and I was fascinated by his stenotype machine.) Our typewriter was very similar to the one you have. I remember doing drills and working on my speed by typing "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country," and "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." I'd be changing that first sentence now but I was learning in the 60's!