The headline is a bit of an oxymoron. A distraction can make you busy, but if you are busy you are not distracted. That’s it for whimsy today. I’m keen to let you know about the folks down at Ashland Creek Press (www.AshlandCreekPress.com) , in southern Oregon. One of the owners has fallen in love again with the venerable workhorse of yore: the typewriter and there’s a very tongue in cheek video on his blog. I loved it.
Without the typewriter I wonder how my careers might have gone. But then, after 28 years with a portable, I’ve since recorded 26 years with the development of the computer. But over in the corner of my office is my much-loved green machine: a Hermes 3000 I spent the rent money on in the mid-60s. For me, it was the best and last of a line of portables I’d owned since I began life as a young journalist at 17.
Let’s see…my first was a wee green Olivetti. I swapped that with my Mother, a writer, for her more robust Imperial. That worked till I traded for a Remington, then an Olympia, then a red and white Smith Corona until I finally settled on the Hermes. We were hard on typewriters as eyes-on-the-keyboard-use-whatever-fingers-are-necessary operators. That machine has travelled far and wide, from New Zealand newspapers to the white world of Antarctica, to the tropical paradise of the Fiji Islands to the wilderness of the Yukon Territory. In retirement it’s now on display for my grandchildren who love to tap out their notes. I had to smile the day one of our youngest’s friends wanted to know what the typewriter was.
Still, even with all this nostalgia, as a writer in 2012 I’m glad to enjoy the wizardry of my Apple orchard. The Hermes has been a wonderful breadwinner for us but is not as adaptable in a coffee shop, aircraft, or for taking notes in the boardroom.
But I will join with the folks at Ashland Press and adopt a typewriter.