To get into journalism school at the University of Texas, students were required to pass a typing test. So I went to the drag and bought a book “Teach Yourself to Type in 24 Hours.” I think the idea was to type an hour a day for 24 days but my typing test was the next day. So I loaded up on coffee, went to the rooftop deck where I was living and typed and typed and typed for the next 24 hours. Passed the test with 70 words per minute.
And to this day, I dearly love typewriters. Manual typewriters. The older the better.
Typewriters are so visceral. Remember writing nasty letters to creditors? It’s the same feeling when writing editorials. Bang on the keys. Harder. You can’t hurt ‘em. Rrrrip the paper out of the platen. Wad it up. Shoot a basket. Start over. Satisfying to ear, mind and muscle.
Now think of the wimpy little clicking sounds from a computer keyboard. No comparison. Don’t press too hard, you’ll bruise the electrical innards. Spill a beer and you’re out of business.
Well guess what? Typewriters are making a comeback of sorts. Young people lead the resurgence. They think typewriters are cool. There's hope still for America! On the Internet, there are dozens of Web sites and discussion groups. Yahoo hosts a forum called simply: Typewriters. Facebook sports several similar groups.
Tell me, can you still buy ribbons?