Monday, February 2, 2015

A Stroll Down Memory Aisle

by Rich

Whilst waiting for my wife to come out of a yoga class at one of our city's fine exercise establishments, I perused the nearby office products store. I looked at new computers, sat in some incredibly comfortable office chairs, and checked to see if there were any new stapler models. On my way through the store I absentmindedly turned down one aisle ... and was immediately transported back to the 1980s.

Lining one side of the aisle were ... typewriter ribbons! Not just one type, mind you. There were ribbons of all shapes of sizes. For a moment I was mesmerized by the display of productive supplies. And then my eyes shifted to the right.

Typewriters! Not one, but two non-screen, non-mouse, non-Internet devices of creativity. My eyes caressed their large keyboards and wide carriages. For a moment I thought I'd hear Def Leppard over the store's speakers and be accosted by a salesperson with big hair and shoulder pads. Or a saleswoman.

Two things came to mind as I continued to gaze at the typewriters. First, my days as a Manager-in-Training at another office store -- an event which will one day be detailed in my memoir Staple Me? Staple You! Second, the origins of how I got to be where I am today. While not as splashy as the origin of Superman, Iron Man, or Mr. Peabody, it was on one of these devices where my creative writing began.

It started with my mother, who ended up typing my first short story for submission. And when I took a typing class in my Sophomore year of high school instead of, ironically, a creative writing class, I took to the keyboard and White Out for another short story. The typewriter was my friend and consultant until my father, a computer guy for almost two decades, finally broke down and bought us our first desktop computer.

With the ease of editing, cutting, and pasting together our masterpieces in today's world, we sometimes forget the sweat we poured into our creations at one time. At some point, when we feel it's too hard to continue, we should all take a walk down the memory aisle and recall the reasons we wanted to write.

Oh, and when you do go, please pick up some 3.5" floppy disks for me.

What do you remember about your creative origins?

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Are you kidding? Real typewriters?? I had my humble beginnings on one, too. I think every writer should have the joy of using that little eraser with the brush on one end :-) We're so spoiled now, but I hope we're saving a lot of trees.

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