24 June 2013

Professor Remington Makes the Front Page!



Above the fold!




One does not often get the chance to say it, but here I go: I made it to the Front Page this morning! 




A few weeks ago I received an email from Meg Jones, reporter for our local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel She'd seen the recent NBC News item on the resurgence of typewriters and became curious about the typospherian scene here in Milwaukee. Right outside the offices of the Journal Sentinel is a plaque commemorating Christopher Latham Sholes, she told me: "Of course I was interested!" she said.
"The first typing machine created by Sholes, a Wisconsin state legislator and editor at the Milwaukee Sentinel in the 1860s, was wooden with piano-like keys. He continued to work on the invention, refining the typewriters manufactured at Kleinstubers machine shop, one block north of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building." [from this morning's article]
(I didn't know that Sholes was an editor for our local paper back then! Somehow I feel this typewriterly obsession of mine has come full circle.)  






She googled typewriters AND Milwaukee, and my post about last year's Summer Solstice Type-In came up.  Like any reporter worth her salt, she tracked me down and asked if she could call.  And like a good librarian, I said, "Sure, I have lots of info you could use for a story." 

Meg called, we talked for about 30 minutes.  Then, offhandedly, she asked, "So how many typewriters do you have?"  "Well," I says, "about 25."  Then came that amusing nano-second pause and Meg asked, "Would you mind if I came over to your house to see them? Oh, and could I bring a photographer?"

That lovely little request turned into one heck of a fun few days.  I got out ALL my machines, something I'd never done.  We put an extra leaf in our dining room table and I was able to get almost all of the machines onto it (3 had to go on the sideboard).  We put up the Professor Remington billboard and a small display of typewriter-related 'accessories.'




Mike De Sisti, Multimedia Picture Editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, came by one afternoon for still shots and video.  He seemed to enjoy seeing the machines as much as I enjoyed showing them! I had fun watching him do his job as well. (I used to do in-class and in-office video work of my lectures when I taught for the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences, so I was curious about the cameras and other technology he used for his work.)


 The green dino on the right found a new home that day too!


The topic of collecting came up.  It got to be a joke for the entire day that while I had these many machines I resisted being called a collector. "The only other thing I've actually, intentionally collected," I told Mike, "is plastic dinosaurs." (In my next life I want to be a paleontologist!)  So I was delighted to hear that Mike's 4-year old daughter is a BIG dino fan! WooHoo! I'd found the perfect recipient for a tall stuffed dino I'd gotten almost 20 years ago in California. Watching Mike leave our flat, with all his camera equipment hanging all over him and the dino tucked under his arm is definitely one of my more special memories of that afternoon.



 Hanging with The Media, a.k.a. Mike De Sisti

[From Mr. De Sisti's Pulitzer Center profile] "Mike De Sisti has been the multimedia picture editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for four years. He oversees multimedia production and training, shoots general still assignments and works on the picture desk as a picture editor. His love of video storytelling started when he was 9 with his first 8mm camera. He has documented several major professional sporting events, including the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game, as well as several presidential races. De Sisti graduated in 1996 from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a fine art photography degree."



Mike recently took this and these other photos of the Canada Goose who chose to build her nest this year right on one of our main downtown bridges! You can see more of his work for JSOnline here.

Meg Jones stopped by later that evening. Having googled her beforehand (I'm a librarian, recall, we love to know stuff!), I knew what she looked like and that she'd done some fine work on Wisconsin soldiers and veterans. What I didn't know was what a delight she is to talk with. We chatted for almost two hours, and she got to play with some of the machines. 

As someone who does not do well talking and taking notes, I was impressed by Meg's easy style of interviewing.  She had a small notepad (yes, just like you'd think a 'real' journalist would!) and wrote without much looking at her pen and managing to keep up a friendly and curious flow of conversation all the while. 

I was especially pleased to show her the Smith Corona Skyriter and Facit TP1, both machines favored by journalists.  (In the video for the JSOnline story, the machine she is using at the end is the Skyriter.)


Meg Jones checks out a Smith Corona Skyriter.


Meg Jones in a much more dangerous situation.
[from this JSOnline article] "Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones sits atop a sandbag bunker to transmit photos, story and a weblog from the roof of Patrol Base Olson in Samarra, Iraq, in 2005."

See the complete article, "
Meg Jones' work in the trenches is honored." at this link.
You can look over some 100 or so items by Meg at the JSOnline at this link.

Rather than swipe all of Meg and Mike's good work, I am going to send you over to the story at the newspaper's site to read the tale, see all the very cool photos, and watch the video. Click on the image to see the article.






Hats off, and many thanks, to Top-Knotch reporter Meg Jones and Ace Photographer, Mike De Sisti!  I had a blast that afternoon and now my Mom gets to brag on one of her kids!

_____________________________________

p.s. The Oliver 5 referred to looks like this:



p.p.s  And the NBC News video, in case you missed it:






23 comments:

  1. Richard P posted this on the previous entry, but it belongs here.

    "I just enjoyed the Journal Sentinel story. Very nice! The reporter is entertainingly baffled by the whole trend, but she did her homework and produced a story that has more depth than most. You did a great job of representing the typosphere!"

    Thanks, Richard. I mentioned you (and Ton, Bill M, Cameron, MClemens, and Deek/Typeclack) as fellow Typospherians that I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the Typospherian of the Day -- if not the month or year!

      It is just fantastic that you made it above the fold.

      And somehow I missed your report last summer on your type-in (or type-out). It looks like it was a great success, very nicely designed.

      Congratulations.

      Delete
  2. I still get a kick out of "The Quick Brown Fox" and "The Lazy Dog" on the sign!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is wonderful! Very nice coverage.

    Your typewriter collection is so impressively displayed! (Love your dining room.) You were very well-spoken in the interview and I got a real kick of the reporter's amused attitude -- so very prevalent in non-Typospherians. ;-)

    Very fitting that this interview took place at "Typewriter Ground Zero". Perhaps there could be a follow-up sometime in the future? There's a great deal more to say about these great machines, and the people who collect and use them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cameron.

      I received a number of phone calls and emails this morning already (as did my Mom, which is real hoot!). One is from a lovely 92 yr old who just wanted to tell me that "she thought she was the only one who used a typewriter still." We chatted for a bit and I asked if I could come over and interview/photograph her for my blog. So, yes, more to come!

      Delete
  4. Excellent day, and fine collection! This story is one of the nicest we've had so far. It'll be fun to see the further "friends you have yet to meet" interviews you do with people like that sweet 92-yr old that contact you because of this coverage.

    Typosphere REPRESENT! :D

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  5. Wonderful story! I love the last part of the video. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! If you are referring to the JSOnline video, Ms. Jones and I did that together. She typed while I held her phone/camera. Then she got to the end and didn't know how to make an exclamation point . . . (She DID remember, though, that the lower case L was the number one.

      Delete
  6. I love it when one of the typosphere gets such recognition. Your blog has always been a great read, and it is fantastic to see you in the news.

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  7. Thanks so much, Scott. It was SUCH fun. I am so pleased it was published so close to International Typewriter Day. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome! Congratulations on making it above the fold. It sounds as if the whole interview process was,lots of fun.

    I'm glad the Dino found a good adoptive home. Every child should have a Dino or three! (Please ignore the capital Dino; darned Google spell check.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a HUGELY fun day, I can tell you! Meg Jones and Mike De Sisti, besides being consummate pros, were also fun people.

      p.s. Congrats on persuading another 'young person' to join the Typosphere!

      Delete
  9. Very nice story! You really represented the typosphere well!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I was very aware that Typospherians everywhere would be watching, and I wanted to make sure the piece showed us, our collecting, and the machines themselves in a good light.

      Delete
  10. Great read, both of your blog and the article! It's fun to think back on all my typewriter days - taking a typing class in summer school (one of the most practical classes ever!), writing letters and then stories on typewriters, the amazing ease of electric typewriters when they first came out, etc. etc.

    All the best to you and "Professor Remington" :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fun blog post and article. It brought back lots of typewriter memories for me - taking a typing class in summer school (one of the most practical classes I ever took!), learning how to center a line (tricky in those days), using my mom's old typewriter for letters, and then getting my own portable for college. At work I was able to use an electric typewriter with self-correction. I thought that was the living end!

    All the best to you and "Professor Remington."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, I loved both your posts, so I kept both! Your comment about the self-correcting electric machine cracked me up! I thought that was pretty cool to - but have to admit the loudness of those new electric models kept me from using them much.

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  12. Congratulations! You are now famous. That is a very nice article and it made the front page too! You post is like icing on the cake. It really adds to your newspaper fame. I hope you can get your Oliver.

    It is always nice to see Typospherians being noticed and each time I see a typewriter article or news clip it is refreshing to know the world is not all computers.

    Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bill. Pretty minor fame and that's about all I'll ever want. But is WAS hugely fun and that I will remember for a long time. As for the Oliver . . . shhh, I have a lead. Will post anon should it come to fruition!

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the great post! I had a blast meeting you. And Bella has a new Dino friend for life, thanks to you! -All the best, Mike De Sisti

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    1. Hey thanks, Mike! We are still laughing about the whole adventure over here. That Bella could recognize a Corythosaurus, even in stuffed-cloth version, tells me you are raising her right proper!

      Delete
  14. Can't believe I missed this, congratulations cover girl!

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    Replies
    1. :-D I had so much fun with this, Ton. Thanks. (My Mom loved it too; always a good thing.)

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