09 June 2014

Professor Remington's Rummage Sale & Type-In

After a long and very hard winter, our neighborhood was almost giddy this weekend. One the first Saturday of June we hold our giant, all-households rummage sale.  It was a most perfect day: sunny and with a slight breeze.

I had thought this might be a good time to move out a smaller portion of my typewriter collection; machines I don't use too often. And since typewriters are such a curious (and inexplicable!) thing to most folks, I decided that my alter ego, Professor Remington might need to make an encore appearance to explain and inspire (here was her first appearance).

I sorted through my machines. It was almost bittersweet. There is a core set of older machines which I love and use often. But even those I don't use as often, I had good memories of: of their finding, of the person who'd given them to me, even of the letters I'd written using them. (Yes, Typospherians can be a most sentimental lot.)  In the end, I culled about half for the sale, 12 machines in all.

I priced them from $10 to $80. I wasn't looking to make money but neither did I want to undervalue them. Plus, I wanted to make sure kids could afford some of them them since it always seems to be the younger ones who are most intrigued by these beasties.  The 1930s-era desktop LC Smith (from my 93 year-old Auntie B!) was priced highest. It needs a cleaning but, remarkably, everything works!

The event opened at 8am and there were people at my table from the very first moments!

The first sale of the day was to this gentleman, who already owns one machine. He likes to write with them, he said. He left with the Facit TP1.

Children were the most excited. It was especially fun when a Mom or Dad would take over showing them how the machines worked. They were so excited to share a bit of their past (and their know-how) with their kids.

One Dad bought a machine (an Underwood Leader) for his 12 year old daughter. "I don't know what it is," he said, "but she finds them fascinating!" Methinks this is one Dad who will be Number One Dad for awhile. I sure hope so! It was a very cool thing for him to do.

This lady and her children were very excited to get a family machine. (I am not sure who was more keen on it though, Mom or kids!)  We talked a long time about how to use it and I gave them a basic rundown on how to care for their new word-maker.  And they were very kind to let me take their picture.*

A few other families held mini type-ins as part of their day.

By mid-afternoon, a total of 6 machines had found new homes. Each buyer was formally welcomed into the Typospherian Community, provided with a 3-page handout on how to care and maintain their new machines, and given a Professor Remington business card.  A very good Saturday indeed.


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* NOTE: It is the policy of this blog not to post the faces of children unless their parent(s) have given me permission to do so.

14 March 2014

Typewriters in the Wild

Friend and creative colleague Hoja and I made a pilgrimage recently to Antiques on Second here in Milwaukee. This turn of the century brush factory boasts "37,000 square feet on three floors showcasing items from one hundred and fifty dealers." 

While my need to amass more typewriters has quieted, the joy of seeing the machines has not. And a recent acquisition of a newish smartyphone with a much better camera than its predecessor has made it possible to cheer my Typospherian's heart with mere images. 

Here's what we saw. Except for the modernish something peeking out of its case, priced at $45, all the machines were consistently priced at $69.95. Apparently this is the going rate in Milwaukee these days. 

I must confess the orange one did tempt me as it was small and solidly built. But not the color . . . no, not orange, not for me.  And there was something else. Not a typewriter and I know not what it was. It's last on the page here. If anyone knows what it is, please comment?



Looks like a machine to record on wax cylinders,
but too modern somehow. Anyone know?

12 February 2014

Keeping it Green

This is the view out our front door. It's been this same view all winter.  Some of the time bright like this, but more often grey'd over and dim.  The snow has been there pretty much since Winter Day 1. And it's been cold, really cold; all crisp and edgy cold with that strict and icy blue scent that the makers of men's cologne try to capture as that last final edge.

It's been beautiful this winter.  This image is a bit misleading, though. It shows what is not what it has seemed. The beauty holds itself in the sheer drama of biting cold and clear everywhere-white.  But the feel of it has been increasingly hard on the soul. There is so little color other than the white snow and grey skies.

So Beloved Spouse and I treasure the two things that have kept our souls reminded the colors we are missing: our houseplants and a painting by my late sister, whom I have referred to in this blog as Artist.

Jan Marie Jablonski


Hurry Spring!

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