I'm totally in control of this tiny, tiny world right there
at the typewriter.
There is a bittersweet melancholy to the remembrance of
things past. Recently we were in a river town in the mountains of southern
California and the main road had several antique shops. Not sure why other than
it is a tourist destination. Saturday morning after breakfast we ventured out
to see the offerings of a bygone period.
As we walked through the stores item after item brought back
a time of youth. There was a Browning camera that I remember my grandparents
used. There were dishes my wife noticed that her mother used frequently when
Kennedy and Johnson were leaders of the United States. Long playing records
from the same era and even earlier featuring Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, as
well as many other bands and artists from the 1950s through the 1960s. Surprisingly
Bruce Springsteen’s first box set of live performances from the mid-80s was
also in one of the stores.
I purchased a heavy duty Smith-Corona typewriter. It was
similar to the gun-metal gray Remington I used as a budding journalist. For
those young’uns who might venture to read this, typewriters were the
indispensable tools for practically all writing, similar to your smartphone or
your computer today. While I have my issues with technology, I have no
intention of returning to the typewriter. Once the personal library is
restored, the typewriter will grace a shelf along side a 1950s rotary phone
with a letter prefix, instead of an area code.
Browsing through the aged goods were myriad unknown family
photos and portraits exhibited in various old-fashion picture frames, but my
thoughts drifted to the families who were once so thrilled to view and own
those photos. I doubt any of the subjects or their relatives would really want
their family photos on display as just filler. Sadly, more likely than not,
those in the photos had either passed away and their relatives had no idea that
a photo ended up discarded as part of an estate sale. Then again, I know people
who have no interest in fulfilling a love one’s last request.
What will the antique store in 20 years contain? Will there
be smartphones, iPads, DVDs all replaced by Google glasses or will they
eventually be obsolete and people will communicate telepathically? But, that
may be hard if everything continues to be so dumbed down that any
communications will have to be nearly Neanderthal.
Maybe we should return to ribbons and keyboards that allow
people to ponder and provide some thought to what is communicated.