Wednesday, May 06, 2020


Silent-Super on Holiday (Case)

With the Silent-Super attached to the lower half of the holiday case but the top half removed using its quick-disconnect feature, it sat comfortably in my lap for some relaxing springtime afternoon meditative typing onto Southworth linen paper. Normally this would be a task ideally suited for an ultra-portable, but I like the elite typeface of this machine, and its richly dark imprint.

It was recently pointed out to me that the backspace key, although being virtually the same color, isn't the same shape as the others. It must have been replaced at some time in the past, probably by a typewriter shop. Which implies that it's gone through two rough periods during its existence, followed by some restoration. A broken or missing key cap is a sign of some rough use, and I'm certain the shop, whomever it was, wouldn't have returned it to its owner without being fully serviced.

When I acquired it just a few years ago it was again in poor shape, extremely dirty and exuding a foul odor. It took me months to clean, degrease and adjust to good working order, during which time I spent countless hours typing stream-of-consciousness drivel, in an attempt to suss out an intermittent skipping problem. Not only did that process result in the problem being resolved, but it taught me the power of the typewriter to draw out from me inner thoughts that would otherwise remain hidden.

I learned to love the elite typeface with its efficient use of space on a half-sized sheet of paper.

Subsequent to the work I put into it, I sent off the platen, feed rollers and paper bale rollers to JJ Short & Sons, to be covered in fresh rubber. The result is like a virtual time machine, like I've travelled back to 1957, the year of my birth -- and this machine's, too.

These semi-portables sport sufficient features to function as an office machine, yet are small and light enough to lug around, should the need arise. No, they're not as nimble as an ultra-portable, but they perform better in most respects. Were I to downsize further my collection this, and an ultra-portable like the Hermes Rocket or Royal Mercury, could serve admirably as a collection of two.

Every time I sit down and rest my fingers on its keys I'm reminded of the power of rehabilitation, of second (and sometimes third) chances. Don't ever think for a minute that there's no hope. Just plug away and keep doing the work.

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Blogger Unnamable said...

I really enjoyed those snapshots of quotidian narrative, Joe. Repeat.

-Vinny McFeats

10:26 PM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Really nice narrative. I like the way you made your day interesting.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

You are a well-centered being. (:

8:41 PM  

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