You know Margaret Mitchell. Gone With the Wind is a classic both in print and in film and she had her fingers on the typewriter keys for both. This post is not a tribute to this Southern scribbler, there are tributes aplenty across the internet and mine wouldn’t do her justice. Fine Literature? Not really, but she wrote an irresistible story.
I accidentally found this picture of her at Born Today as I cruised the net for something else. I find a lot of fine things that way, but this one stopped me cold. Bless her heart, Margaret’s not much to look at in this photo. It’s the brooch she’s wearing that nearly killed me outright.
The Old Remington Quiet-Riter has a new home and a special purpose. The Writing Center at the University of Central Arkansas now has corner dedicated to the Retrotech Arts, complete with a B.A.R.O.P. There’s also a suitable vintage table and chair, courtesy of my good friend Jennifer, whose lot in life is to keep the Writing Center tutors knowledgeable and fresh.
I have it on good authority that the paper roll is full of daily poetry, cryptic messages, and mysterious intrigues. All this despite the fact that not one of the tutors is old enough to remember typing up footnoted term papers on the real clanking deal.
This is the first of many projects planned this year using the manual typewriter/B.A.R.O.P. combination, so stay tuned.
I’ve got a lot more typewriters, a whole box filled with Big-Ass Rolls of Paper, and students who aren’t afraid to use them.
So I thought I’d slip in a little poem, just to try it out.
It’s called Word Perhect (no, that’s not a misspelling) and I dare you not to get on it right this minute. Just take a look at the screenshot below. Oh, yes.
Clearly, my luck has taken a sad turn. I can’t seem to catch an Ebay break. So, instead of sharing with you the fabulous goodies I snagged for a song on Ebay, I’ll let you peek at the Big Ones That Got Away.
First up, the glorious red Corona typewriter above. I was convinced no one but me saw this beauty languishing around the $10-$15 price range. I was wrong. The bidding took a frantic turn and left me with my pocketbook hanging open. Craving this typewriter brought me nothing but heartache and the understanding that no, I cannot run with the big dogs.
What are these? I’ve never seen anything like them before, and can only assume they’re little pillow-like attachables to make slamming the keyboard a little less, well, slammin‘. I can’t decide if these were a good idea, or a terrible mess. Did the typist have to dodge flying cushions when (not if) they detached mid-memo? And why “Park Avenue”? I’ll never know. A badly-timed phone call yanked my attention away at precisely the wrong moment. Bye-bye, key cushions.
This perfect collection of vintage stationery began at around $10. Who else on the planet needs this worse than I do? No one, I tell you. Not one soul. I would have won these, too, if my computer hadn’t chose the last half-minute of the auction to do its weekly virus update. Pop-ups stole my Ebay stationery, and I may never recover.
Unlike the stationery fiasco, I’m fairly certain the person(s) who drove up the price of this vintage paper are people I know. Scallywags, all of them. Just look at that box – couldn’t you die? I’m dying a little every time I think about it.
This bizarre piece of political history needs no explanation. You know why I wanted it. It would be fascinating, though to know who the four bidders were, because it’s always comforting to know there are others out there functioning just a half-bubble off center. I have no idea why I missed this one. Just looked away for a second and it was gone.
I‘m not bitter about losing these Ebay auctions. Well, not all of them. I’d like to find the old bidding mojo again, though, because all this losing is beginning to make me look bad. I fear for my Ebay street-cred, and with good reason.
When my typewriter friends post elegant Hiawatha-watermarked typecasts, don’t worry. I’ll put on a brave face.
On a side note, I’ve spent a good portion of the weekend with The Perfect Grandson, who suffers from a cold that is only made better by watching Wall-E over and over again. If you’ve never seen it, go rent this one immediately. Saving the planet through robot love. Delightful.
(This typecast is brought to you on Sister Agnes of the Curlicue Script, a 1958 Tower President.)
Hmmm. It looks like Tallulah is droppin’ her ‘G’s again. It’s a common malady with some of these southern machines.
This paper, by the way, is vintage Eaton’s Muguet des Bois scented and engraved stationery. Well, at least it’s still engraved. The floral scent smells musty and cigar-like now, and I’m not sure I can get the des bois back in the muguet. Regardless, this stationery makes me want to have a terrible crush on some summer boyfriend from the lake just so I can write to him the day after he leaves.
Sigh. Time to Ebay.
What I want to do is type every single day to one of the prompts on my Easy Street site. The thing is, I have 548 writing prompts on there, and I’ve never used a single one. Ever. I think finding and posting them takes all the AHA! out of it for me. At any rate, each day during the month of June I’m going to hit the random prompt button and write whatever comes to mind, and I’m going to do it on old pieces of stationery. With a typewriter. Maybe I can shake off some of the academic dust that’s settled in my head, I don’t know.
At the very least, I can use up some accumulated paper as an excuse to buy more.
Today’s prompt is #13, Double-wide Love.
This typecast brought to you on a 55 year-old Remington Quiet-Riter that may look exactly like a squatting river toad, but types like it’s dancing – even when the typist is an almost-two-year-old with a fascination for the zip and zing of tab, return, tab, return, tab, smash all the keys down, return.