Presently I am riding in my car as I type this post. No, I am not driving!!
One of the reasons I wanted to try typing this using my iPhone is because the treasured object I am sharing with you today happens to be an old tin that once contained a typewriter ribbon. Now, if you’re under 40, you might not even know what a typewriter ribbon is!
Well, back in the day, before personal computers, when we had to do things manually, there was a machine called a TYPEWRITER. It was similar to a PC, in that it had a keyboard with keys that you had to strike hard to get the letters to show up on the paper. Yes, paper. No screen preview beforehand either. If you messed up and couldn’t fix it, you had to start over with a clean sheet. You have to remember, there were a lot of trees back then & not many tree huggers! But the typewriter was “green” in a sense since it did not require electricity to use it. Like I said, it was operated manually. So, you would type, striking the keys & the keys would strike against the inked ribbon which would apply the letters to the paper.
Ah, the ribbon! That was a pain to change when the old one no longer had any ink left. I don’t know of anyone that didn’t end up an inked mess! And it seemed the ink would stay on your hands (& clothes) forever!
My paternal grandfather, Robert O. Ballou, was a writer. You can read more about him in my post, True Blue Ballous. When I look at this little tin that sits on my computer desk, I picture Grandpop in his tiny studio apartment in Manhatten, typing away on his old Underwood. I imagine the sound of the paper as he rolls it in the typewriter and the “ding” the machine makes when he reaches the end of a string of sentences. And, I imagine the black ink on his hands provided as much satisfaction to him as the dark, rich soil in his garden did, as he tended to his vegetables and flowers on the weekends he went back to his Connecticut home.
So, I wonder what he would think of me, in this 21st century, typing away with just my index finger on a computer screen about 3″ wide & when I’m finished, with just a “tap,” I can send it immediately to people all over the world?