November 22, 2009

Underwood Typewriter

I gave away my typewriter.

It was an electric model - an Underwood 565 (I think) that my parents gave me for graduation. I say my parents, because sometime between purchasing it and my graduation day, my dad passed away - it was perhaps the last gift he bought for me and a typewriter as a gift has his hand all over it. I had not remembered that fact until sitting down to write this - on a Dell keyboard and an internet blog - and not on my Underwood typewriter. This fact saddens me a little; although it needed to go regardless. When it comes to sentimental remembrances of dad - his St. Christopher medal (which he wore constantly throughout his marriage and adult life) and his bowling ball (a 16-pounder that I have bowled a few rounds with back in the day) will have to do.....

But back to the typewriter. I made my way through high school with an old 1920's vintage Underwood (one of those big cast iron things) that I fed with corrosable onion skin paper (the better to type head-to-paper, as was my wont back in the day). It was a beast - and it survived into my adulthood, sitting in my basement in Waterbury until I decided to discard it (no freecycle or craigslist back then, but I left it on a table at the curb and it found a home before trash day). The electric model went with me to college, where it was sporadically used (not a lot of call for typewriters in engineering school) although I did peck out an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) on the MA Bottle Deposit Law (fairly new at the time and resonant with my working at a package store), as well as an analysis of the Who's "Tommy" using classical techniques. A handful of treatised on Shakespeare and classical music (in retrospect, I took a lot of non-engineering courses). Also a couple of dozen long winded letters to my buddy Jim out at Univ of Chicago. Think I still have one of those (written out, not typed) floating around here somewhere. I ought to send it to him, for the heck of it. Here's who we were, way back then.....

So, after having moved the typewriter several times (home and office) without removing it from the case, it was time to find a home for it. A lovely young woman and perhaps boyfriend stopped by tonight. I asked if she were a writer and she said no, but "....my favorite poet used an Underwood."

It has a good home and a new life, and will do the things a typewriter was born to do. And I have one less piece of stuff in my life. And the technology, plastic, and metal avoided the landfill.

Yogic unattachment? Getting old and realizing that life will not go on forever? Just getting tired of carrying stuff around? Not sure.....

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