The Really Big Typewriter and a Send Off

My blog has been on hiatus for the last few months while my family makes a slow-motion cross-country move to Northern Virginia. I am focused like a laser beam on tasks related to the move and new house and have been trying to avoid distractions and temptations (typewriters).

The Virginia house is a lot like a really big typewriter.   It has lots of moving parts and I am learning something new each and every day.

expansiontank

wires

heatpump

I have been shuttling back and forth between California and Virginia for the past three months, working on the Virginia house. I really don’t want to be That Lady, but there are some updates and modifications we’d like to make before we bring in our familiar junk and make ourselves at home.  I am home-making.

The Virginia house is full of period details from the 1990s that I am trying to tone down: acres of high-gloss honey oak and brass accents.  This enormous ceiling fan that came with the house is mesmerizing.  It’s like a rare plant of the Amazon that blooms once every hundred years and emits a corpse-like scent. It’s so weird, it may need to stay.

fan

So I am out here in Virginia, trying make this house home-ly for our family – a comfortable setting for all our weird junk.  My skills are limited to demolition, insulation hanging and painting.  I like to paint and my favorite medium is rattle-can Rust-Oleum:

shutters

demo

I am trying to make two rooms out of one. Sometimes I feel like Gob Bluth: “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

The Olympia Robust joined me on this trip as a carry-on and kept me company in the garage while the floors were being refinished.

garage

Fire extinguisher at the ready in case the Robust overheats

The Robust appears to have spent some time rethinking the past.  It seems to have experienced some sort of spiritual conversion:

henry_james_quote

robust

We are all on a journey, and our paths often lead to unplanned destinations.  Yesterday the Robust journeyed to Richmond, VA where it will be rotated into exhibits at the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

I drove down to Richmond, VA with the Olympia Robust as co-pilot.  I have not been there in 30 years and was amazed at the city’s funky transformation.

mural1

mural2

This is a window box at the Poe Museum featuring my favorite type of bird, a corvid:

windowbox

The Virginia Holocaust Museum is located near the waterfront in an old part of town:

vhm

Weirdly (and I didn’t plan this) I dropped off the Robust at the museum on International Holocaust Remembrance Day which takes place on January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I met with the museum’s Assistant Curator, Angela, and we brought the Robust to the  museum’s collections workspace where it will be processed.  I filled out the paperwork and kissed the Robust fondly goodbye.

olympiarobust

After the drop-off, I met my son and his girlfriend for lunch and reminisced about the good times with the Robust and celebrated the fact that the typewriter was now in a good place.

I drove back to Northern Virginia and sang loudly to the radio.

Farewell, re-born Robust!  Before we parted and the Robust embarked on its new life, it typed out this:

anne_frank_quote

 

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18 thoughts on “The Really Big Typewriter and a Send Off

  1. Tyler A. says:

    That’s one heck of an undertaking, moving from one coast to the other! I hope everything’s going well with it all, and going according to plan!

    That ceiling fan tho. Wow.

    Like

  2. Bill M says:

    I can’t imagine a coast to coast move even when the company where I worked would have arranged and paid for it. Hope everything goes good for you. Congratulations on your Robust being part of the Holocaust Museum. The museum was not there when I lived near Richmond. I need to visit.

    Like

  3. Welcome to Virginia! I love this state so much.
    Maybe if you are lucky enough to find another one of those you can drive down and see the mountains here in the New River Valley and drop it off with me! That’s been my number one most wanted machine since it moved up from number two ever since I have been collecting (I got number one as a very kind gift from another collector, also a WW2 machine but from our side). Robust, runes, and QWERTY to boot -that was a perfect typewriter.

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    • It’s been 20+ years since I last lived in The Old Dominion – it’s familiar and transformed at the same time. Richmond is a pretty cool town – make sure you drop by the Virginia Holocaust Museum if you are ever in that neck of the woods. The Robust is in a good place.

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  4. Nick Merritt says:

    Best wishes with the house work! I lived in Fairfax County of VA for a couple of years myself while a student. I didn’t get a chance to explore it thoroughly, sad to say. And may you find plenty of typewriters worthy of your talents.

    Like

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