Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Going For a Walk

The Old Neighborhood
Typecast019

Post-Script: I wrote this on the new (to me) IBM Model 71 Selectric I. The ribbon was nearing the end, hence the poor imprint quality until I switched it out with the new roll supplied by the repair shop. Two aspects of this experience of composing on the IBM come to mind. First, I distinctly noticed the absence of a combination black/red ribbon. Being able to highlight certain letters in red is something I do miss with this otherwise fine machine. Second, there were times when I reached for the platen knob to manually move the carriage back for some needed correction, only to remember that the carriage is fixed, and instead I had to press and hold the backspace key, then impatiently listen to the cyclic kerchunk of the mechanism as it did its backspacing.

I originally thought, when the idea for this piece came to me during my walk, of composing it by hand via fountain pen, then doing the finish work on the IBM; but time was running short this afternoon and I instead composed the whole piece at the keyboard.

I've yet to find my writer's voice doing these kinds of pieces; the sense of nostalgia is too strong. It's hard to maintain some objectivity as an external observer. I consider it an exercise, which I hope you find acceptable.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Steve K said...

You talked the walk very well! ;)

3:03 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

No red/black with the Model 71, but the fabric-ribbon Model 72 can in fact do bichrome, and I have one black/red ribbon for mine. (:

9:59 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

This post creates a bittersweet sense of familiarity and decay.

I too find that the lack of a movable carriage on a Selectric can be disconcerting.

11:15 AM  
Blogger andrew nicholls said...

I lived back in my home town for a while and whilst I still love the place, it didn't feel the same. Memories in every corner but the fabric had changed and I felt almost like an outsider. I find it better to visit and reminisce than live their permanently. Nice reflective piece Joe.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Ken Coghlan III said...

This was a nice read and really makes me wonder what it would be like to still live in the town I grew up in. I haven't driven through there in years and it would be very interesting to see how everything has changed. Or stayed the same.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Going back in time to one's youth can be a really enjoyable experience.
At the same time things get run-down and the experience does become a bit sad.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of a quote (though I don't remember where I first heard it): Solviture ambulando. It is solved by walking.

8:18 AM  
Blogger DonN said...

Interesting to muse on how in a generation or two, things change so much. Perhaps what this piece reflects isn't nostalgia, but rather solastalgia.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Alex Popp said...

Joe, I’m fifth grade teacher in CT trying to add a vintage feel in a digital world. Recently I added a few Toledo stools, Boston pinch feed pencil sharpeners, 1960 Swlingline staplers, and fold out measuring sticks. Recently my school’s PTA provided me with funds to purchase a typewriter. My plan is to buy two 1950s Smith Coronas. I bought the first, a Sterling. Then I YouTubed your video and saw you wanted to thin your collection. I would be delighted to reach a deal.
Alex
alex_popp@greenwich.k12.ct.us

6:31 AM  
Blogger Alex Popp said...

Joe, I am a fifth grade teacher in CT. Lately I’ve been trying to add a nostalgic vintage atmosphere in a digital age classroom. I’ve added a couple Toledo stools, Boston pinch feed staplers, 1960s Swingline staplers, gooseneck lamp, and foldout measuring sticks. The next phase in add a couple Smith Corona typewriters. My school PTA offer to help fund. Recently I bought a Sterling. Then I saw that you were interested in thinning your collection. I would be thrilled to reach a desk with you.
Alex
alex_popp@greenwich.k12.ct.us

6:40 AM  

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~Joe

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