Tuesday, November 8, 2016

No Owner's Manual

This canvas has hung on my walls for several years, as a reminder to write every day.

For awhile, I have been fascinated with old manual typewriters; I suppose it has something to do with being a writer. Chuck wants me to have one, and has offered to buy a vintage one for me. It would be like a 3-D reminder to write; a sort of inspirational relic. 

I had three criteria for the perfect manual: 

1. The typewriter had to look cool.
2. The price should be reasonable.
3. Bonus, if it is functional.

While we were visiting the historic district in Galena, Illinois, we stopped at Granny's Attic, and we were both drawn to an old Underwood typewriter. I was shocked at the $145 price tag,  and Chuck reminded me he was more than willing to spend that much, if I loved it. 

That's the thing; I don't fall in love with stuff much any more. I've had to purge my belongings too many times to allow myself to get attached to things. The Underwood was cool, but the price seemed outrageous to me, and the antique store wouldn't let me touch it to find out if it worked. Two strikes against it. Nope. I thought about it a little longer, and decided no, I would wait. 

I was so glad I did. I would've had buyer's remorse within the hour. We wandered around another store, EZSELLUSA, a consignment shop on Commerce Street. We didn't see much of interest among the furniture and knick-knacks, but as we were leaving, Chuck asked the proprietor if he had any old typewriters. 

"As a matter of fact, one just came in yesterday. It's in my office."

Could this be the one? I wondered. It looked cool to me. I was given a piece of paper, and after Chuck figured out how to make the platen work, I was able to type "I love you" on the paper. BONUS. When the owner told us it was a 1941 Remington Rand that he would sell us for $50, I high-fived Chuck, and said, "SOLD!" 

It's cool. It was a bargain, and it works. What's not to love? It might not have come with an owner's manual, but I'm now the proud owner of a manual. 

This birthday girl is a happy birthday girl.

Photo credit: Chuck Bennorth


  1. My sons will never let me forget - I had this old smith and corona typewriter for years. It had belonged to my Mom. When were moving, I was sick of packing so I sold it at my garage sale for $1. I regret it now - EVERYTIME, one of them see a old typewriter, they bring up my mistake. Heck, so do I.

    1. Dang. I had an old manual in college I bought at a thrift store. Do you think I held onto it? Nope. That's why I had to buy this one!


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