Thursday, September 30, 2010

Letting Go

The Adler J5 is the first victim of heavy use. The ribbon advancement mechanism is broken and no matter how much I jiggle, poke, and prod the ribbon won't more. I am sure that there is a reason why, but I am not gifted enough to fix it.

This leads me to my title "Letting Go." I am not lamenting the Adler J5. It wasn't my favorite or the favorite of the kids, but I have to get used to the idea that these are not meant to be museum pieces. They are to be used by people. Students will use them rougher than I would and all I can do is remind them to be gentle because they're old. When these machines were new, did people treat them gingerly or did they use them as tools? I imagine most were used as tools.

As a collector I see the value beyond their use as a tool. To me they are beautiful objects that sit on shelves and are to be admired. Yes, I like to use typewriters, but I use them gently with a great deal of respect. These typewriters are intended to be used by students and they might get broken. Things happen. I need to be at peace with that and be willing to let go.

P.S. I don't want anyone to think that my students are ham-fisted cretins who grunt like a neanderthal. They are, to a large extent, taking good care of the typewriters. These machines were designed to last. And lasting they are.