Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Sam Beavins original

The ink and watercolor by my homeroom teacher and drama coach Sam Beavins that Marie gave me as one of my graduation gifts in June 1985 is the only piece of original artwork I own.

It followed me to college and back every school year, has hung on the wall of every apartment I've lived in, and currently graces the living room of my condo.

The colors have faded quite a bit in 20-plus years — or so I believe — but it's still probably the most-cherished possession I own.

Ironic that Marie thought I didn't appreciate it, as explained in this, the 23rd entry to my actual 1985 diary.

Sunday, June 16, 1985
12:45-1:36 Pm

Well, let's see. For the rest of this past week I worked Thursday and Saturday. They fixed it so I didn't have to work on Friday, since it was graduation. I think I've seen Marie everyday this week. She came over a couple of times this week, and one of the times we had a chocolate fondue. That day was Wednesday. She had to leave around 5:00 Pm, though, because she was going to Caroline Kramer's graduation at Lincoln, reluctantly, I might add.

Tuesday we did go shopping in Bridgton. I got my battery for my plane and a new battery cord. She didn't find anything she wanted, if I remember correctly. We stopped and got a dounot at Dunkin' Dognouts. (God damn it, I give up!)

Anyway, Friday was graduation. It was rainy pretty much all of the day, so they had it inside at the Bridgton Auditorium.

I got up at about 9:50 Am and showered. Then I went outside to see if I could start up my plane. It started fine, and I taxied it around the lawn a bit. I was going to go over to where the senior party was going to be and help Aaron and Paul and Benji set-up for the band. But Benji didn't know exactly when they were going to do it, and he was going to be a bit late probably anyway because he was taking Julie out to lunch, so I decided it wasn't worth my effort.

So I went to P&C and got my check I had forgotten to pick-up and then went to Radio Shack and returned a record needle duster thing that I had gotten a while before, which didn't fit my stereo. Then I dropped over to Sky Gate and played my usual game of Galaga. (To date my highest score is 179,940. It all sort of started during our Dew runs in school. We stated to go to Sky Gate as the daily routine. Each day I played at least one game of Galaga. Now, most of the time, I can get the high score.)

Anyway, after that I came home ... Wait! I met Benji and Joy at Sky Gate, just for the record. Anyway, after I got home I started to retype my play on my new typewriter, so it'll look more professional, but I kept messing up and had to keep starting over and I didn't get shit done. Soon Nana came and gave me my gift of $50. Then her and Mom left for Dawson to pick-up Anne. Soonafter Dad came home around 2:50 Pm. He showered and then I showered, I got ready and then left around 4:30 Pm for Marie's.

When I got there she gave me her presents. They are fantastic! She gave me a Gund puppy, which is real cute. And she also gave me, probably an 11" by 14" drawing that she paid Sam to do. It's in what I think is pen and colored with watercolors. What it is is all of the characters that I ever played on the stage, all standing next to each other. There's King Sextimus, Crestwell, Paul (from "The Diary of Anne Frank"), Stewpot ("South Pacific"), Manny ("Hocus Pocus"), Wilson ("Arsenic and Old Lace"), Hank ("You Can't Take It With You"), and in the background you can see a person up on the ledge of a building who is supposed to be my character in "The Ledge, Ledger and The Legend," the play I learned in about three days during the Summer Drama Workshop last year; his name escapes me.

Anyway, I thought that was just great and I didn't know what to say. I just stared at it.

Anyway, then we left for Bridgton and when we got there we went downstairs and she gave the other guys, and occasional girl, their gifts. Then she went upstairs and it was time to begin. We went through the entire ceremony. I got a scholarship for $100, that I didn't know about until I got it. We had some good speakers and got our diplomas. Afterward we hung around talking a bit. Bill, Benji and myself found Mr. P2 and got him to do his famous "speed walk" for us one more time and his bird calls. Then we broke up and I went home to change before leaving for Aaron's. He was having a little pre-senior party party with all of his relatives and some friends and some fireworks. When I got home I opened the card Mrs. R had giving me and found a 50 dollar bill in it!! I called her up to thank her and asked if Marie was home, and she said she had gone with Aaron to Aaron's house, and said that she thought that I thought I was mad at her. We got into a fairly long conversation about Marie and myself, and she told me that Marie was kind of hurt because she thought that I thoght that the picture she gave me was Sam's idea, and not hers and that she thought that I didn't appreciate her gifts. She also told me that she thought that I didn't want to see her after graduation, because I had said that if I go to senior party that she wouldn't be able to go, because she's not old enough. This year there was a rule about nobody under 16 being able to go.

Anyway, while I was talking with her, Marie called her mom on the other line and told her to get off the phone with me, so she could talk to me. Which she did. Then I talked with Marie and tried a clear up the whole apparent mess that we had, and told her that I did appreciate her gifts and that if she wanted to try and get into senior party, I'd be willing to take her. I guess that cleared it up pretty good.

Well, I finally got over to Aaron's and we went out to watch the fireworks and what have you. Soon we left for the party and Marie had decided to go. So I had to bring her home first to change and then we left. On the way we stopped at Grand Union and got a six of Dew and stopped to get gas. By-the-way, today Dad found out, and I did too, for that matter, that I had forgotten to put the gas cap back on the car after putting gas in it, so now it's missing.

Then we tried to go to the party but couldn't really find it. We passed what I now know was it, and found Maynard's. Then we backtracked and found what I thought at the time was probably ours. But it was just a little road leading up into a field, and didn't really look that inviting, so we just kept on going and I brought her home.

We watched "Romantic Comedy" on the VCR and had a couple of Dews. I left around 3:10 Am.

The next day I worked from 2:00 Pm to 7:00 Pm. After work I went to Sky Gate for a game of Galaga, and then to Marie's. Anywhere we went we had to bring her brother, because her parents we gone, and for some strange reason, they wanted him looked after that day. I wanted to be home by 10:50 Pm or so, so that I could tape the beginning off from "The Twilight Zone." I've been thinking of ideas for some PSAs for the workshop and I thought a takeoff of "The Twilight Zone" would work, but I want to parody it exactly. I mean do a version taken from exactly what the show says, not from what I can remember, which is very little.

Anyway, when I got home the Liptons and and the Priestlys were still here. My mother had then over for supper and they were watching TV, and I didn't feel like interupting them, so I didn't get to tape it.

And that brings us to today. I got up around 11:00 Am and have been doing this ever since finishing eating and showering.

Think that's it. Will write again next weekend. Until then ...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Edna's 1958 Olympia portable

olympia portable typewriter
I typed every entry to my 1984/85 diary, up until the one below, using a 1958 Olympia manual typewriter. It had been a hand-me-down gift from Edna, an elderly woman my parents used to live next to in a small trailer park between Maynard and Bridgton up until the time I was born in 1967.

I took an immediate shine to the Olympia when Edna passed it along to our family — around the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade. My parents took to rationing the time I was allowed to spend pecking away at it, because I couldn't seem to pull myself away.

What I wrote, I have little memory. In fact, I'm pretty certain I was more interested in what the pages looked like rather than what they said.

Anyway, my parents' high school graduation gift to me in 1985, as mentioned in this, the 22nd entry to my actual 1985 diary, was an electric typewriter. It sounds silly to read how excited I was to enter the electric age — that's electric age, not electronic age — but at the time, an electric typewriter was pretty high-tech. Sure, some people had spent thousands of dollars on a PC (Tandy TRS-80 or Apple II, most likely) — and thousands more on a printer — but that kind of technology still seemed out of my league, somehow.

I wouldn't start using a word processor — my roommate's Commodore 64 — until I was a sophomore in college.

Though I might have been a late bloomer when it came to technology, what I lacked in timeliness, I like to think I've more than made up for in passion. Most days I spend my entire day working at a computer in my full-time job as a graphic designer and Web developer. (And on my days off, I'm never too far from the flat-screen either.)

Here's the ironic coda to the story, which might say more about things than anything else I could think up: I have no idea where that new-fangled electric typewriter I received in the spring of 1985 ended up. But I know exactly where that Olympia manual is. It's inside my office closet, not 10 feet from where I sit writing this blog entry on my PowerMac. I still drag it out to pound out an occasional mailing label or form on a fairly regular basis.

Tuesday, June 11, 1985
12:37 Pm-1:19 Pm

First, a quick appendix update. A-52 is a momento from the prom, which I forgot to include last time. We also got our pictures but the smallers ones didn't fit in the place they're supposed to in the momento. I might get it in later, so it might be there when you look at it. By-the-way, the momento isn't labelled, but I'm sure you can find it. A-53 is a letter from the Valley Players, telling me I didn't win the playwright's award. A-54 is the cover to my Calculus book, which I saved because of the cover design and the little note from Marie that she wrote at some "Mattress" rehearsal, I think. Finally, A-55 is the program to our Baccalaureate service.

I would have liked to write earlier, but I've been busy, and didn't have time. Well, let's see. Last Sunday, or actually the Sunday before that, I did go over to Marie's after supper and had a swim. On the first of the month we consider it our anniversary, since it was on the first of December that we went to the Lincoln one-acts, and later went to her house, and, well... um ... you know. Anyway, because it was our 6-month anniversary (1/2 year!!) she had baked me a cake. It was lemon and one of those two layer jobs, you know? It had white and purple frosting on it and said: "To Cameron Love Marie," and it had a little heart next to it, and 1/2 written on the sides.

Now that school's out, it seems like it's been out for ever. Exams went okay, from what I can remember. On the first day I left early, because I didn't have an exam. The next day I came in late, for the same reason. I think all of my exams went okay.

The last day of school seemed strange. We only had two exams and then the seniors had to stay late for marching practice. The band also had to stay late because they provided the music. After that I stuck around for a bit, signing yearbooks and giving and taking pictures, and then Marie and myself left. It was a strange feelig to know that I'd never be at that school as a student again.

I worked Wednesday and Thursday of that week. I got a little better after doing it some more. I got more comfortable and friendly with the other workers. I still don't like it and never look forward to going there, but it's work. (Or I should say, it's MONEY!!) I got paid for that one Saturday that I worked and got around $12. This Thursday I'll get payed for the Wednesday and Thursday, I think.

After I worked on Thursday (till 8:00 Pm) I went over to Marie's and we went and saw the latest James Bond movie, "A View To a Kill." It was pretty good.

Friday I didn't have to worrk, and I think I went over to Marie's. Yes, I did, but the exact time I can't recall. Anyway, from what I remember we went swimming. After that some time must have lapsed, and then we played some video games on her Atari. Then her Mom said it was time for me to leave because they were leaving for the weekend Maine, to attend a wedding.

Saturday I tried to get my R/C plane going, but I need a new glow-plug battery. Then I did a bit of mowing, before it started to rain. Then I called Benji and we went downtown to try and get a new battery and look at some electric tyewriters at Brown's Drugs. (Ah, you knew I was leading up to it, didn't you?!) We also stopped by Sky Gate and played a couple of video games.

Sunday I had to work, from 9:00 Am to 2:00 Pm. I guess it was good, though, because we get time and a half on Sundays. After work I went home and had a little drink then went to Gram's and did her lawn. She wasn't home.

When I got home, my graduation gift from my parents was here. I had picked out a typewriter that I liked at Brown's, and they had gotten it for me. I won't bother listing all of the features, but just let's say that it's really nice.

So I played around with that a little, and before I knew it, it was time for supper. After supper I got a call from Marie who was then home. Then I got ready and got dressed for Baccalaureate. I went and picked up Marie, who was going to watch, and we went. It was okay.

Yesterday I had her over around noon, her mother dropped her off. I showed her my typewriter and then we tried to finish putting my stereo speakers on the wall, a task I had started earlir this weekend. The extension cords I bought weren't quite long enough, so we couldn't finish it. After that we left for Radio Shack to get another cord. Then we went to Sky Gate and the bank so I could make a deposit of some of my graduation money I've got and my first pay check. I've gotten quite a bit of grad money, about $130 or so, and I think more's on the way.

Then I brought Marie home and went home and got dressed for work and ate and then left for work. I worked 5:00 Pm to 9:00 pm. After that I went to Marie's again and we went swimming. I left around 12:00 midnight.

This morning I got up around 10:15 Am. I showered and ate and soon Marie called. We both had a few chores to do, but then we're going to go shopping in Bridgton. She still has some grad gifts to get. Now I think I remember what we did last Friday before we went swimming. We went into downtown Maynard and she did some grad shopping.

Well, I think that's about it. When we went shopping last Friday, I spent some of my money on a Devo poster and got two new records, actually one record and one tape. I got "The Swing" by INXS and "Fear of Music" by the Talking Heads. Awesome tunes!!

I finished putting my speakers on the wall today. And now that I'm done writing in the diary, I think I'm ready to give Marie call and tell her I'm ready to go shopping. I also sent out my thank you notes for all of my graduation gifts this weeend. I also wrote Middletown and told them my reasons for not being able to make it to orientation, so it looks like I'll be going a little early in the fall instead.

Guess that's it for now. I'll try and write this weekend; hopefully I'll have enough time. So, until then ...