Friday, September 07, 2007

Typewriters And Gearshifts

At one time, I drove (a) standard-shift, (b) double-clutch, or (c) automatic. It is surprisingly difficult to switch from a big double-clutch truck to an automatic car without doing some thinking. You get used to keeping your right hand on the gearshift and near the low-range, high-range lever. It’s like the different touch you use on various typewriter keyboards.

I was brought up on a manual typewriter, since about the age of twelve, and had my own not too long after. It was an old Underwood and I used it a lot. I also picked up a portable typewriter somewhere along the way, small but well-built and very easy to use.

Much later, I bought my own electric typewriter. It replaced a newer solid portable that was as close to a desk model as you could get. Then an electronic typewriter which went 132 words per minute and saved anything beyond that in its memory; good for people like me who could exceed 140 with no problem. I’d stop to think, the machine would keep typing and I’d hit the keyboard before it finished catching up with me.

Each keyboard touch was as different as each vehicle’s gearshift.

Everybody has a story.
Wendy Lee Fisher, former local resident, passed away Monday. She was the daughter of Ham Fisher, the cartoonist who drew the “Joe Palooka” comic strip, which was based here in Wilkes-Barre and featured several local residents, including shoeshine boy “Little Max,” now jewelry store owner Max Bartikowsky.


Anonymous ruthc said...

Each keyboard touch was as different as each vehicle’s gearshift.
My mom always said something similar about piano keyboards.
Do you find that, too?

September 08, 2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Yes, indeed; with some pianos I used regularly, I could tell you blindfolded which was which. I still remember the touch of the Kawai practice piano I used at one place.

September 08, 2007 12:59 PM  

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