Saturday, April 26, 2014

Welcome to "Calisthenics From Wilhelmshaven"

I thought it wise this morning to take my brolly and attire myself in tweed to stave off the chill in the air, and the raindrops that dwelt therein.  Once more - indeed, as ever - my guess at the nature of the weather in Ohio was as off as a five-week-old dead badger on the hard shoulder of the M-25.  Cincinnati was warm and sunny, and I switched from heating my car with the bum-warmers ablaze to cranking the air conditioning down to 'flash-freeze' in a space of about three miles, somewhere near the I-71 outlet malls.

Fortunately, my GPS got me through the baroque curlicues and jinks that formed my route to the site of today's splendid Type-In, so I was able to feign confidence as I negotiated traffic and scan for parking opportunities.  I finally found a space and lugged the SG1 to the coffee shop.

I am fairly well aware that I am out of shape, but my arms, shoulders, and back had to spend the time and neural energy reminding me of this fact anyway.  Even though the trip to the venue was uphill on my way there, and downhill three and a half hours later it was the downward trek that had me suffering.  Lord knows how Brian and his sons hauled their trove of typewriters there with such apparent ease.

There was a pretty good turnout for the size of the shop, so we didn't look out of place with our numbers.  People milled about socialising and talking type, examining one another's machines and generally enjoying the event.  I was most impressed with the variety of styles and designs of typewriters present.  There were numerous portables, including a battery-operated portable electric that looked older than is typical for such things.  A USB-adapted SM3 with a laptop slaved to it:  a perfect arrangement if ever there was one!  Several gorgeous old Royals, a very cunning Blickensderfer that was way ahead of it's time, a really super little portable with a typebasket that reclined flat for transport (while also disengaging the keys and raising them to a neutral position as a result of the motion of the typebasket, but also having the side-effect of protecting the mechanism).  Wow!  I know I'm missing mentioning many beauties like the military one in olive drab, the sunset-red one with the impressive paint-job, and many other fun devices.

Oh - the sweet torment!  Now I have to shop for more typewriters including the USB kit, a Hermes (just because it's so swish and nifty in every respect), and even a simple 'lectro-wedge.  Brian!  Why did you infect me with this burgeoning addiction, man?  Misery loves company, I hear.  I just kicked the crack and the krokodil, not to mention the scopolamine.  This is going to be tougher!

The attendees were a hoot, too.  Brian brought his Adler, as promised, and we did a quick side-by-side comparison of the two machines.  Very, very interesting.  It's amazing how tiny details can make for such differences in the feel and personality of two very similar typewriters - although I'm sure that can be said of any class of machine, but it just happens to be so much more apparent in these kinds of constructs.

I greatly enjoyed talking with the Brumfield lads.  Gosh - they know their stuff!  I had a chuckle chatting with the poets who had taken a table in the back, as well.  The coffee and nosh were both very good at Sitwells, so over all I'd declare the day a resounding success.

Now, I think I must soothe my aching muscles and retire for the evening.

Bravo to the Brumfield clan.  I look forward to next time!   :-)


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