My Portable MemorySaturday, June 23, 2018
I would write my editorials using a manual typewriter in pitch-black darkness... I would produce the whole thing without having seen the text.
Charles Krauthammer (March 13, 1950 - June 21, 2018)
Every day something happens that makes it manifest that the world I knew, the world I was comfortable in, a world of Packards and Studebakers, of Prakticas and Contaxes, of Kodachrome, Adox and Ektachrome, of Polaroid and Ascor, of bookstores, many of them, of Underwoods and Smith-Coronas, a world when just being old meant you were treated with respect (that rarely had to be earned) and the young could slide down slides with impunity, is over. It was a world where the ad “better living through chemistry” did not mean what it means today.
It was a world of machines (noisy ones) particularly in Spanish. Consider the photograph illustrating this blog. Colleen Hughes in Spanish would be called a mecanotaquígrafa. To type is Spanish is to “escribir a máquina” because a typewriter is a “máquina de escribir”.
The original idea for this photograph was that I wanted to make Hughes the patron saint of writers.
I have had a not very pleasant relation with typewriters. It was not until 1975 that in a Vancouver TV program I found out that I suffered something called dyslexia. For me typing was a frustrating experience. While I learned the querty keyboard I failed typing in high school.
It was only the advent of the computer that somehow enabled me to type with few mistakes.
Part of a fond memory is my grandmother’s black, portable Smith Corona typewriter with its Spanish keyboard. I know she purchased it in the Bronx sometime in the late 20s. It still works. I like its smell of ink and metal.
|Ivette & my grandmother's Smith Corona|