Friday, July 27, 2012
tickety, tick, tickety, tick, tickety, tick ...braak ... DING!!!
In the age of smart phones, lap tops and tablets, this old beast is positively ancient ... yet, in its day, this old Remington Travel-Rite was as modern and cutting edge as the latest offering from Apple, or any other gadget manufacturer. I can't say for certain how old it is, but I do know it has typed many a page in its long and storied life ...
This antique began its life when it was purchased by my dad who had absolutely atrocious handwriting (a trait his son and grandson have inherited!!!). Dad used it for just about everything. The tiny little circular piece of paper on the dial of the rotary phone in the kitchen still has the emergency numbers carefully typed out on this beast ... on the door of the broom closet was the paper list of contact phone numbers for family friend - it was also carefully typed ... all through the house were neatly typed slips of paper that ranged from love notes to my mom, through to formal letters to various companies and agencies. Then in time, the typewriter fell into my hands and I used it through my high school days and into university until it was replaced by a Smith Corona electric typewriter/word processor that I've mused about previously. (An interesting aside is that I purchased my Smith Corona at the same time CandyGirlFlies from "I Can Fly Just Not Up" bought her's - I still have mine!!!)
As for the Remington, I hefted it in and out of my car regularly taking it to and from Hamilton for papers and assignments at McMaster, before retiring it to the corner of my bedroom sometime in the early 1990's ... it sat in that corner until this winter when I finally brought it home and put it downstairs ... it may not be valuable but it has many good memories associated with it.
One of the stories that is connected to this old Remington also made an appearance in a newspaper story when a presiding judge asked the investigating officer for the notes he made the night of the incident in the patrol car.
Constable Sam Ankenmann produced a sheaf of neatly typewritten pages and handed them to the judge.
The judge again asked for the notes that the officer had made the night of the incident.
Dad, no doubt with a grin on his face, answered the judge by saying that those WERE the notes he made the night of the incident while on scene in the patrol car.
The judge wanted to know how, and dad explained that he carried a portable typewriter with him and made his notes on it in the car. According to the article in the paper, the judge then called for a recess in the proceedings and directed Dad to produce the typewriter and prove the seemingly spurious claim of typing while on scene.
I can, if I close my eyes picture Dad walking out to the patrol car and hefting the Remington into the Court and with a twinkle in his eye begin to type for the judge ... the article (which I found in Mom's stuff and dutifully tucked away to keep it safe, but can't find right now) notes that the judge was both shocked and impressed by Dad's use of the typewriter.
I may never type another page on the old Remington, but like the other handful of touchstone items I have from Dad, it will be a cherished heirloom BECAUSE of the close and wonderful connection that it has with Dad. Then again, maybe what I need to do is take the old Remington out to the Bush and let the locale and the typewriter motivate my reflections and my thoughts and perhaps that elusive story I've been toying with will finally come into being ... one just never knows!
I realized yesterday talking with Beetle about the typewriter, that it likely was in the car with him the night of his accident, though it shows little evidence of any damage - and I will likely never know for certain - I only know that on the green Bakelite keys, Dad typed all manner of documents, letters, and notes - most of which are lost, but all of which were part of his life and legacy ... the few that remain, like the typewriter are fragments of a life lived with love, laughter and a wonderful joie de vie!!
It may not be fancy, but this little typewriter was my Dad's and I think of him every time I see it !!!