I like typewriters. I think I've mentioned that we have several in the garage, including one from the '20s. My parents always had a typewriter around the house, and that--along with reel-to-reel tape recorders, slide projectors and 16mm home movie viewers--was high tech.
The thought of "going backwards" doesn't bother me. Maybe because I grew up writing papers and compositions long hand, sometimes waiting until the hour bus ride to school to finish my homework (resulting in slightly sloppy penmanship). Maybe because I still enjoy the feel of literally making words, of ink on paper, and the evocative smell of old typewriter ribbon and even the hated error tape we had to insert under the keys.
But probably it's because I spent my teenage years without electricity. Or a phone.
I grew up in Southern Humboldt--or at least spent junior high and high school there, which is what I consider the "growing up" period. We had a wood stove, we pumped spring water to a redwood tank, we used gas lights and kerosene lanterns, and when we wanted to watch TV, it meant going out to a gas generator and starting the motor and flipping a switch.
(I wonder how much TV watching would get done if people had to work for it ... you know, like hamsters on a wheel or something. But I digress ...)
Even relatively high-tech transportation wasn't reliable. I remember a memorable winter during which our four wheel drive truck got stuck in mud. I had to go get help ... which meant riding my trusty horse about five miles through the mountains during a very big storm, down to the closest phone--a post office. We lived two miles up a dirt road, and I still remember the look on the PG&E workers' faces when my horse and I emerged from an old skid road down to the Redwood Highway.
So writing on typewriters? Not a problem. I type about 35-40 words a minute, thanks to a freshman typing class. My first short story in high school--a socially provocative horror story about a statue that comes to life in a church--kind of Lord of the Flies meets John Steinbeck--was written on a typewriter. And my graduation present was a brand new Sears electric, on which I spent many all-nighters, working on papers I should have written a week earlier.
I still laugh when the power goes out, and neighbors run for their cars to turn on some sort of media. I just light a candle, light a fire in the fireplace, and either read or play cards.
Thanks to a lack of technology ... I'm damn good at poker. ;)
Next week, Bill Cameron joins us on Criminal Minds, alternating Thursdays with me ... please welcome him aboard, everybody! :)