I can’t remember what model it was, but I do remember two things about it. It was made of metal with that particular pebbly coat of paint. Also I remember the sound it made. It was the first typewriter I ever struck a key on. As a child, many things of your parents and grandparents held a great deal of mystique. Even though I had no idea how to type, nor did I have anything in particular that I wanted to write, I enjoyed playing on that typewriter. The sound of an old manual typewriter is one of those pure sounds, like breaking glass or the scissors cutting paper. It is pure, unmistakable.
I didn’t hear that sound again until I went to Fort Gordon, Georgia and learned the skills of a Single Channel Radio Operator (if you need a di-pole antenna set up fast, I am your man!). I learned to type with drill sergeants standing over me yelling while I was trying to read the text before me and type it without mistakes. In 1985, the military wasn’t what it is today; we were learning on Korean War Era equipment. But that sound, oh, that sound. The hard clatter of the key striking the bar combined with the sibilance of the paper being imprinted. There is nothing like it. Of course, the equipment was a little more high-tech once I got to my unit, sort of like an electric typewriter on steroids.
I now have a wireless, low profile keyboard, much like those on any laptop/netbook. I can type very fast when I have to, but the enjoyment is gone.
Now as I sit here writing this, as I sit writing my fiction in script, I miss that feeling, that feedback of the keys moving the type-arms around the pivot point to strike the paper and the roller, producing that singularly particular sound.
Like I said in the post about writing and thinking, script is a wonderful experience. But, there is nothing I would like to have more than an old manual typewriter, hearing that sound as I beat out the rhythm of a story.