Tag Archives: Remington 5

Remington 5

I received a package yesterday.  Inside the box was a Remington 5 [streamlined] circa 1935.  For those born before the computer revolution, Remington was a major typewriter manufacturer.  Think “word processor”, its CPU the organ between your eyes with an attached printer.

http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/rem-portables.htm#remrand

It belonged to Jules Morrow, my mentor at the beginning of my career.   He composed on it until friends bought him a computer.  Even then, I did catch him tapping out missives on it.  The Executor of Jules’ estate, acting on instruction from his will, sent it.   Inside the paper carriage there was a typed note.

He knew me better than I myself.  Jules paid one dollar every week until that Remington had been paid off.  If the above website is correct, the price was $49.50.  So, instead of the self gratification we enjoy today with our credit cards, Jules, an individual of the Depression, waited patiently paying his weekly dollar for almost a year before receiving what became his most prized possession.  And yes, Jules, I am aware of the previous sentence’s length.

I placed his Remington 5 on a shelf in my office.  Not prominently displayed as a “piece” of antiquity or some decorative emblem studiously perched for all to see, but as a reminder.  I have placed it below eye level so that when I spin around in my office chair, it is there.  While I may have no past, this machine does and viewing it reminds me of a history, both worldly and personal.  Its presence in my office a balefire, a signal for what I do here, digging for stolen history.

This gift set me thinking.  I do gather up old things like some museum curator.  My telephone is not antique but a replica of one from earlier in the last century.  The house I live in, also old, built sometime in the 1920s.  My neighborhood reminiscent of “Leave It To Beaver.”  Why didn’t I purchase a Condo or some new brick home in a planned community?

Because I need a sense of what has transpired before I walked this earth.  And this typewriter, a machine I have no skill with, is a reminder that while I may have begun life in 1989, the world did not.  In that, my history resides.    So I borrow this part of Jules’ past to bolster my present.  Its’ shiny Art Deco frame brings to focus those who have helped me on my bittersweet travail.

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