On “El Bolo” and sons and fathers …

“Do you scream?” Twelve-year old Alfredo asks.

“No,” Pablo replies.

They are sitting in the Hellevator two-hundred feet up above an amusment park in Madrid.  And then it drops.

And they both scream. Continue reading


The Remington that started it all …

The Remington that started it all ...

“Oh Remington,” she sighed. “Why does the paper always have to be so darned white … and so darned blank?”

Remington didn’t reply.

As she stared at the paper run through Remington’s roller, she thought maybe she’d take up smoking; she thought it was just so Faulkner to be sitting at a typewriter smoking, staring, maybe with Scotch in hand ….

Oh sorry, I probably should explain. I fancy myself a writer. And I have this love affair with old typewriters. I love the smell of them – well, of their musty carrying cases, anyway. I love their round-faced keys, their beautiful letters shining underneath their clear coating. I love the sound of them: the crisp and efficient clackity clack of the keys, the small clear bell at the end of the line. It makes me wistful and melancholic; wistful – as if I had lived back in the day and worked my own fingers to the bone on these enterprising and magnificent machines.

I bought my first one at the Monroe, Washington Old Car and Antique Swap Meet years ago. A Remington Standard 10. Circa 1911? Twenty-five dollars. Turned out it was broken. Now it sits in my garden and I call it yard art and I love it. My husband and kids laugh at me everytime we tell the story of how we bought the typewriter. It was my first swap meet visit and I wasn’t too comfortable with haggling, so I asked the vendor how much for the old Remington. He says, Twenty-five dollars. I say, Great! Sold! And that was the transaction. But now my husband and kids twist the story around so that the vendor replies, Twenty-five dollars, and I say, Great! Will you take thirty for it? Because that’s just the kind of girl I am.

I bought my second one last year at the annual Portland Swap Meet. Actually did pay thirty for this one, but it works! A Remington Portable. Works like a beauty. I’ll do a little more research to see how old it is, but right now I gather it’s maybe 1940s. There’s just something so clean and classic about it.

But anyway, my blog isn’t really all about old typewriters, or old writers, or swap meet how-tos, or even wistfulness – or maybe it is. Maybe it will be. Who knows where this will go?!

Maybe it’s about appreciating unlikely things in unlikely places. Or appreciating unlikely things in the usual places.

I’m going to copy a technique a friend of mine uses on her blog – asking the audience. Jeanne, I hope you don’t mind … And for anyone who has read thus far and is still with me, I would highly recommend checking out Jeanne Henrique’s blog at Collage of Life. Beautiful, deep, eloquent. She’s the one who gave me the push and the encouragement to start this blogging endeavour. Thank you Jeanne!

So, I ask you, what have you found that is beautiful in an unlikely place?