I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Procrastinator

It’s Labor Day holiday in the US, the day we celebrate the American worker and give Summer a long, wet, beery goodbye kiss and think back over all the fun we’ve had during the past three months. Tomorrow we’ll put away the white slacks and flip flops and get back to school and business.

It was in a nostalgic end-of-the-summer mood that I re-read some of my past typewriter blog posts, and I had to laugh at the tone.  My typewriter repair posts can seem like self-congratulatory, unstoppable marches to victory. It’s never that way.

It is time to spread out the dirty laundry of my to-do list. Now that summer is over, I need to get serious. I really don’t know how this happened.  I have somehow accumulated a collection of partially dismantled typewriters that desperately need help. Here they are, begging for my attention.

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Neglected while I was off gallivanting with the Boys of Summer

Paul the 1959 Royal FP

The good-natured, hard-working 1959 Royal FP is in terrific typing condition – it may skip for some people, but that’s their problem. I have removed some of the panels for sandblasting and powder coating. I ordered pink powder coat paint for the top cover, paper table and front panel – and then I lost my nerve. Did I truly want to pinkify a dignified old FP?

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Ringo the 1913 Oliver 5

Everyone’s favorite – the sweet and unassuming 1913 Oliver 5 came as a matched set.  Good Neighbor Brian has Ringo’s twin, but I kept Ringo because he’s in pretty bad condition with lots of rust. I took off his carriage and haven’t gone any further.

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John the 1970 Hermes 3000

A complex bundle of ego with smartypants tendencies, the 1970 cursive Hermes 3000 suffered a catastrophic fall at Moe’s shop.  The carriage was mashed into the body and now won’t move.

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George the 1922 L. C. Smith & Bros. No. 8

The 1922 LC Smith & Bros 8 has been living in my garage for the past eight months.  He seeks to rise above and to achieve a higher level of rust-free consciousness.

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The Fifth Beatle: Underwood Portable

There’s also Pete from Idaho, a three-bank Underwood portable with a few pieces that need to find their proper place.

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And then there’s the typewriters that need minor fixes:

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You may ask why is there a Rheinmetall KsT in my fridge with a blob of Silly Putty on the shift lock key (this sentence sounds like typewriter-related Mad Libs).  It’s a long story, but it doesn’t have a happy ending yet.

I think that I’ll start with the Hermes 3000. Come here, Sweetie:

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Blender impassively watches the countertop dissection of the Hermes 3000.

Farewell, Summer!

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Weird Stuff

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

I have been on the road a lot this summer due to family obligations.  Last week, I was up and down the length of New Mexico visiting elderly relatives and taking in the strange and beautiful sights of the Land of Enchantment. I gave Joe VC a silent salute as I passed through Albuquerque.

White Sands, NM is a pretty weird place:

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You may be on the moon or in the middle of Antarctica.  It was 106°. It was beautiful.

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I spotted one typewriter in the wilds of New Mexico.  It was crouched in the corner of my cousin’s guestroom north of Santa Fe, ready to spring.  Like photos of Bigfoot, this one is a little blurry:

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In this photo, you can make out the markings: “Sears – The Electric 2”:

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Moe at Mozo’s asked me to drop in after I returned from New Mexico.  She had a beautiful little Royal P that she wanted me to admire. It’s a beauty from 1927 with serial number P37918. It types like a son of a gun.

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I took a moment to also admire a Barcelona-made Underwood-Olivetti Studio 44 that came in while I was gone. I think it’s from 1961 with serial number 332001. The Studio 44s at Typewriter Database with lower serial numbers seem to be labeled “Underwood-Olivetti” rather than “Olivetti-Underwood”. Funny, that.

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Next to the Studio 44 was a 1966 Fortune magazine with a little kid on the cover diligently hacking the mainframe:

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Moe also has a new Underwood 6 that is a bit messed up. The carriage gets stuck in strange ways.  It may be just dirty – maybe some tab interference too.  I will bring this one home in a couple weeks after I finish my travels for the summer.

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This Underwood 6 has a strange key:

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Does anyone know what  “DO” stands for?  The typewriter also has a degree symbol.

Roia from Mozo’s created an eerie tableau from a doll head while I was gone:

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Moe also proudly showed me some strange bird-headed acquisitions:

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Moe says that she can’t look at them too long because her heart fills to overflowing with their strangeness. She sneaks peeks at them now and then.  Apparently they are Jenny Lind figurines from the 1850s.  Jenny Lind was a famous opera singer known as the “Swedish Nightingale”.  Still weird.

And here’s another weird thing Moe showed off:

We did not leave Mozo’s empty-handed. My daughter brought home an Anglo concertina from Moe’s and has been making lots of noise with it:

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I can’t look at that concertina without thinking of Joan playing the accordion for her husband’s colleagues.

Lastly, I leave you with a random weird typewriter thing for the day. I saw this on Instagram while I was procrastinating and not doing work like I was supposed to.

 

I wouldn’t stand under that art installation. I did some quick Googling. This is called “Chor der Heuschrecken” (Chorus of the Locusts) by Rebecca Horn, 1991. I wonder if it is still on view in Hamburg.

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A Table for All Seasons: A Thanksgiving Tribute

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I have made good progress on the Voss, but I haven’t had time to finish it up. I am hosting Thanksgiving and have been busy plucking turkeys and polishing silver.  So here is a quick post of gratitude to my dining room table.

My dining room has very good light. It’s no wonder that everyone in the family gravitates to the dining room table when we work on projects.

Whether it’s a little weekend papier-mâché…

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…or cleaning a work of art…

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…or painting a horse…

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…or repairing a Skyriter and an Axe-FX II…

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…or stripping down a Voss…

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…or hosting Thanksgiving dinner…

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I guess I’ll have to set a place for the Century 10

…you have been there for us, Dining Room Table. Thank you. Here’s a haiku I typed on the Voss De Luxe about you:

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Wishing everyone inside and outside the US a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving. Since we have a lot of photographers in the typospherian community, I will close with this beautiful super-long-exposure photo of trees at night that my son recently took. He’s away at college where he is fooling around with cameras and grappling with the big questions such as – In a fight to the death between every American president, who would win and why?  (my money is on Teddy Roosevelt).

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