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 ...

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