Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Optima Super, or Just One More?

Optima Super, circa 1958
Optima Super
Optima Super, circa 1958
Optima Super

We, my wife and I, had a discussion this afternoon about this newcomer to my collection. She reminded me, some months ago, that when I got the Royal KMM I said I didn't any more typewriters. Since then, I've reacquired the Groma Kolibri from Kevin, and now this Optima. So what gives?

I do feel satisfied with my current collection, as most every machine I own are functional writing tools that I feel good about using. But there's also the fact that John Lewis is a national treasure, of sorts, in the sense that he represents almost 60 years of experience, and every machine for sale in his shop has some of that experience applied, during his reconditioning efforts.

Last week, I tried almost every machine he had for sale. Olympias, Hermes 3000s, Smith-Coronas, Royals, you name it and he probably has it. Yet, none of them spoke to me. They're all nice machines, I'm certain every one has a potential new owner out there who would treasure it. But I already have several Hermes 3000s, a very nice Olympia SM3, a Royal QDL, a Silent-Super, etc.

And also, I can't single-handedly buy out John's entire inventory; I'm no Jay Leno.

But this Optima was unusual, if not a bit rare, at least around my neck of the woods. And it has everything I'm looking for in a functional workhorse writing tool that's also portable.

So, never say never. I can't say with certainty that this will be the last machine in my collection; I don't feel in need of more typewriters, that's for certain. I'm good, thank you; I'll pass. Unless I step foot in John's shop again, that is. Maybe, like an alcoholic, I just need to be more careful about that in the future. Be more self-aware of my weaknesses. And also, continue using the machines more, put them to good use creatively speaking.

Okay, just one more photo of the Optima, then I'm done:

Optima Super, circa 1958

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7 Comments:

Anonymous John Cooper said...

I have a Royal P refurbished by John Lewis. It's certainly the jewel of my collection. I wish I could get to ABQ to visit his shop. Frankly, I'm tired of buying machines that need a lot of work. And as the last few traditionally trained master typewriter repair experts head into retirement, it's getting harder to find the kind of work they can offer.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Beautiful typewriter. Congratulations!
I'd love to get a typewriter from John Lewis. I doubt I'll ever get to ABQ again. I retired, and the company I used to visit there was sold and moved to CA.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Bill G said...

That's a very interesting looking machine Joe and I like the typeface. I've come to the conclusion that it is a fool's errand to try to justify owning more than one typewriter. The fact that you enjoy using it and feel that it will help you to unlock more of your writing creativity are good enough reasons for the new addition in my book. The tie-in with a master of his craft like John Lewis is of course the icing on the cake and one that I can appreciate as well.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Oooh, that looks just as buttery as my Triumph Perfekt, and in the same color scheme. I bet you're gonna hold onto that one :D
(ps: maybe do a motion adjustment on it tho)

10:19 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Neat acquisition!

Several years ago, I found one in this color scheme, but rusted horribly. It got derusted and turned into the red machine I call The Belle of the Insurgency.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Diane Maher said...

I visited there with you a couple of years ago Joe. I wonder if he still has the Densmore 4 or 5 (I forget which). I would like to get one if he does. I need to find his business card. I might give him a call.

5:56 PM  
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12:54 PM  

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