Pleasing Symmetry

The Olympia Robust had been on my mind ever since it first arrived at Moe’s shop. I took some photographs of it in situ for Typewriter Database:

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Deer antler, tramp art, oil lamp, Jesus, stuffed pheasant…Olympia Robust.

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It bothered me to leave the typewriter at Moe’s shop. Not only was it at risk of getting damaged, but I worried it may be collected for weird reasons. The more I ruminated on it, the more convinced I became that the typewriter should not go to a private collector.

So I took it into protective custody and brought it to my place for the time being. Moe was relieved about that.  She was worried about it getting stepped on.

I am offering temporary shelter to the Olympia Robust – it can’t stay in my home too long.  I’m concerned that it might catch what the Praxis has.

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I went in search of a permanent home for the Robust.  The internet did not disappoint.  After a little digging, I found a Holocaust museum in Richmond, Virginia that was requesting donations of objects from the period.

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What I liked about this museum:

  • extensive community education program
  • open 7 days a week
  • FREE admission
  • great Yelp reviews

I got in touch with Tim, the director of collections at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. He and the assistant curator agreed that the Olympia Robust would be a good addition to the collection for rotation into the exhibits.

As part of the museum’s collection, the Olympia Robust will be available to anyone who may want to examine it (typewriter types, history buffs, ordinary curious people).  Tim says that the museum is developing a searchable online archive of objects in their collection that the Robust will become a part of.

I’m flying out to the DC area in December and will take the Robust as carry-on luggage. Once in DC, I plan to drive the typewriter down to Richmond for the hand-off.

This turned out really well. This particular typewriter’s story has a pleasing narrative symmetry – or at least a very satisfying balance in beginning and end. While I don’t think inanimate objects can experience karmic retribution, the sprinkling of poetic justice and side of situational irony gives me a chuckle.  This typewriter, made in its past life for the SS, will now be used as a tool for education and as prevention against future atrocity. It really does make me laugh (righteously, of course).

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8 thoughts on “Pleasing Symmetry

  1. I wish I had been so lucky, that’s a machine I have been looking for now for quite some time. I guess that’s an OK place to put it. I’ve been to that museum and it’s pretty good.

    Like

  2. Nick Merritt says:

    Bravo — well done. I wasn’t aware of this museum. The provenance (brought home by a GI) is something I hope they mention; adds to the understanding of what things were like then.

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  3. Good plan.
    Mundane items like this being exhibited can (hopefully) caution against the humdrum normalcy of evil. How normal and routine it all may have seemed to some at the time, how evil and atrocious it was.
    Good plan.

    Like

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