In Memoriam

Fresh Ribbon

I just found out. Ed Cordon, my friend and typewriter repairman at Acme Business Machines is gone. Those interested may want to leave a message here. I’ll send a long letter to his wife, typed on one of the many typewriters Ed lovingly resurrected for me.

It isn’t enough, though. School began and I was busy. I never called and now I can’t.

Ed was a gentleman and a good man, and is missed.

Acme and the Underwood Noiseless


Ed Cordon is my hero. I took Zelda to Acme Business Machines yesterday after spending some time trying to make her at least somewhat presentable for company. I called before making the drive, wanting to give him a heads-up before sauntering in with such a typewriter, “Bring it on in,” he said, like he gets this all the time. Maybe he does. Twenty minutes later it was some trick getting her out of the backseat and up to the front door, where Ed was waiting with a big smile on his face.
I was half afraid he’d shake his head at the Underwood Noiseless, tell me he was sorry, send me back home. I don’t know why, because once he had that typewriter on the table he poked and prodded and plunked and such, declaring quickly that Zelda was absolutely repairable.
Then he turned her up to look underneath. Oh dear. The cobwebby nastiness of seventy neglectful years was under there and though I thought about turning her over during the hasty clean up, I never did. Obviously, twenty-two years of vigilant parenting has made me feel responsible for such things and I need to get over it.
Mr. Cordon didn’t seem to care one bit. He did say it would take a little time to get old Zelda up to snuff.
He talked a bit about the typewriter repairs and sales he’s had lately, and I want to thank every single one of you who’ve somehow made your way to North Little Rock to give this man your business. He’s not sure how much longer he can keep the store going, he said, because business is generally thin. He only looked frustrated for a minute or two, though, before he went back to testing and fiddling with my old Underwood. Clearly, he loves the work.
Ed doesn’t have a website or email address, so I’m going to give you the info here again. Give him a call, stop by, write him a letter on one of your old typers. Let him know you’re out there and when you can, bring him a little something to work his magic on.
Acme Business Machines, Inc.
Ed Cordon
5308 MacArthur Drive, Suite A
North Little Rock, AR 72118
(501) 753-7375

Spring Break Heaven is a Typewriter Repair Shop


I’m a lucky woman and I know it. I just happen to live in a place where there are more than a few old-school typewriter repairmen still plying their trade. While making the rounds with my Tower President, I ran into a local man who told me the place to go for typewriter repair of any unusual kind is definitely Acme Business Machines in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

There is no link to the shop because, well . . . Acme doesn’t have a website OR an email address. They just have a shop and a telephone.

Since Acme is only about 20 minutes from my house, I just loaded up my janky Olympia Socialite and headed out. Three hours later, I drove home with my eyes bugging out and a 1948 Smith Corona Silent in the back seat.

I’m not going to give you a play-by-play right now. I should have taken a camera with me to Acme Business Machines. Who knew it would be such a typewriter haven? I’ve got a return trip scheduled to pick up the Socialite, and you can bet this time the trip will be fully documented. Stay tuned.

I typed on every single machine the owner would let me near, and he just kept handing me paper. When he opened the Smith Corona Silent case I thought I’d burst into tears – it was so beautiful, perfect, NEW looking. After typing on everything in the store, the touch of the Silent was music. Every typewriter site I’ve ever visited touts the old SC Silents as the best typers, but you really must get your hands on one and type a line or ten to fully appreciate the soft insistence of its keys. Line after line the machine functioned as if it planned to live forever, and it just might. This machine is tight and controlled. It has substance.

Of course I left with it.

I typed that night on it for hours and I could have kept going. The trick, as Will Davis at the Typewriter Forum told me, is to get the machine at the perfect height. The keys are more upright, so the machine needs to sit a little lower for comfort. Once I found the perfect table, there was serious typewriter mojo.

I call her Mamie.