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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Typewriters and mistakes

We watch "CBS Sunday Morning" every Sunday by recording it on DVR.  The show was originally hosted by Charles Kuralt who was and is one of Gene's admired persons.  Today one of the segments on the show was about typewriters and their comeback.  All kinds of young folks are going to junk stores and buying them to use.  One man whose family has been repairing typewriters for 3 generations thought he would be out of a job by the end of the 90's.  He is having a booming business.

Picture from ad on
A group of high school students are using typewriters to compose their writings.  The teacher reported improved spelling is a sidelight of the typing.  One teen boy thought it was some sort of new invention!

I learned to type in Mr. McNeil's class in 1962.  It was a gray Royal manual typewriter.  I was a slow, inaccurate typist.  35 WPM after subtracting for errors was probably my personal best.  I think I came out of that class with a B average mainly due to mistakes.  My mother was not pleased as she demanded A's from all of us girls.  Oh, well.

I remember having to type triplicate copies using carbon paper.  So erasing one of those triplicate copies was very time consuming if not impossible.

picture from IBM history website
While Gene and I were running the TV repair shop, we purchased a portable Selectric with built in correction.  It would erase an entire line of error!  That was great for a mistake prone person like yours truly.  I think it cost about $200.  I used lots of correction tapes.  John Roger used it for his school reports once he took typing classes.  Best I remember we sold this for about $50 which was a mistake......

I have made many, many mistakes in my life.  Probably no more nor less that the average human.  There were many years I would  mentally beat myself up over the mistakes.  I would try to rationalize that this or that caused me to make the mistake.  But the bottom line was I made decisions that led to the mistakes.

Today was communion Sunday.  I am a person of faith in God and the love displayed in Christ crucified and resurrected.  Once again this morning I was reminded how my Creator used a special type of correction tape to erase my mistakes.
Altar at the Taizé monastery
Mary Beth Coudal

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