By Dusty Shelf
I’ve been tap, tap, tapping away on a 1932 Remington typewriter I picked up at a thrift store here a while back. It’s in remarkably great shape for being more than 80 years old. I hope I’m in that good of shape when I’m 80 plus.
The key strokes are so smooth. I used a manual typewriter in high school that wasn’t nearly as old or nearly as functional.
I wonder how many people remember the aggravations of the manual typewriter now that we are well into the computer age. Word processors were like solid gold when they came out. Copy and pasting text was like magic. Not having to mark the bottom of the page to remind yourself when to stop was just a beautiful thing. Well, I found it to be a wonderful thing. No more typing one line too many and having a grade reduction from a jerk professor. Or worse yet… having to start all over. No longer needing to worry about typos or spacing. It was all at the touch of a very simple button or two.
But back to my 1932 Remington typewriter with the smooth keystroke; large keys for bigger fingers like mine; and that beautiful ratta-tat-tat typing sound that makes me long for the days of typeset newspapers. You know, the really wide papers. Not like the Internet dimension papers we have today. Ironic, I know, for a person editing an online newspaper. I embrace all technology and times change. Sometimes, though, I wouldn’t mind picking up an old school newspaper off the porch, wrapped up in a rubber band and unfold it to find a newspaper so wide you could use it to cover your windshield at night to keep the frost off of it.
I think, when I’m using the new typewriter I should have a hat on that says press on the side and be smoking a cigarette like Humphrey Bogart did in some of his movies. Once I get into a rhythm of writing I want to bark out commands to imaginary underlings like “cigarette me” or “coffee”. And of course, someone will magically comply with my commands because I’m the alpha dog of the newsroom. You know, like Bogey.
Now all I need is one of those old grade school hand crank copy machines and I’ll be in business for a daily news sheet to spread all over. We can go old school with go to technology.
Aside from me raging on about all of this old school technology, there is something to be said about having some back up plans in place in case of a major system failure or power outage. The news has to be ready to hit the street no matter what.
I think I’m going to go type up a column or two on the Remington to use in the next few days. I may even type up some regular stories and scan them in to use. Keep an eye open for our Remington editions coming shortly.
Until we meet again…