It’s the weekend! And the joy of summertime is contagious! Can you feel it? There is nothing like a blue sky day and the beginning of an endless summer! Here is to you, my friend!
It really has been a great week here! Check out the visitors I had last Sunday!
These baby raccoons showed up on my back patio after we got home from a country drive! Now I am critter crazy, so this was like Heaven handing me a piece of candy! I watched them for about 3 hours as they padded around the exterior of my house. Can you imagine me trying to be quiet and invisible as I hobbled around on my crutch? Hah! I think they knew I was compromised… they ignored me! They then wandered down my driveway, and a neighbor saw them headed toward the street, and scooped them in a box and took them back into the woods. But I was a pretty happy camper that they came to visit!
My Adventure of the Week
So one of the things I love to do is search for vintage and antique items that interest me on Craigslist, or at auctions or estate sales. I may search for years for just what I am looking for. My husband likes to search for radios, and we love to do that together. We actually went to a few estate sales today that advertised they had radios. No takers today but it was fun!
However, one thing I have been looking for for about 5 years now is an antique typewriter. Why? Well, I love to write! And I love the nostalgia of those old typewriters! We had an old metal one when I was growing up, and I remember being fascinated by the keys and how when you hit the key it strikes the paper and leaves the ink impression on it. As crazy as it sounds, I think those old typewriters are beautiful!
So this week, I was searching for one on Craigslist here in my neck of the woods, (a favorite pastime), and low and behold a hopeful one popped up! It was a “Woodstock” typewriter. It looked like it was in really good condition! And it said it actually works! Best of all, the price was really good! So I sent the owner a note and said I would be interested in seeing the typewriter. As with most Craigslist purchases, the owner wanted to meet at a public place as it is a good safety precaution, so the time and place were set.
Gaaaahhhh! This is always so exciting for me! It’s like a treasure hunt! So on Wednesday morning, I got in my car (with my crutch, hah!) and headed to meet him, and maybe buy a vintage typewriter! It’s like such an adventure! Sure enough, we got there almost at the same time, and I had my money ready if the typewriter measured up to what I was hoping for. No need to negotiate, he had a very fair price set on it.
We shook hands, and introduced ourselves. I was leaning on my crutch, and he asked me what happened, and I explained about falling on the ice and my new and improved ankle.
He opened up the trunk of his car, and there it was! It was beautiful! I think I heard a chorus of angels singing in perfect harmony!
The gentleman (David) was so proud of it! He told me he had shined it all up and every single key worked! He put a piece of paper in and typed on it for me so I could see that it worked! I asked him how he came by the typewriter. And he shared it had belonged to an aunt and when she passed away it had gone to his father, and then on to him.
He and his wife are downsizing and will possibly move to Florida. So they are parting with some things. He asked me what I intend to do with the typewriter. I told him it’s an inspirational piece for me. I explained about how I love to write, and my blog is about making this the best chapter of our lives. I could tell by the way he smiled he thought that was a very nice thing to write about!
He also showed me that it had been rebuilt.
I told him that was perfect! I’m standing there on a recently “rebuilt” ankle, and writing about “a whole new chapter” in our lives! The deal was done and he moved it from the back of his car to mine, and into a new family for new stories and adventures!
When I got home, I couldn’t wait to start researching it! It appears to be a model from the late 1920’s, made in Woodstock, IL. I found the serial number N185664.
As I researched, I found that a very similar typewriter had played a mysterious role in American history. During the late 1940’s, a gentleman by the name of Alger Hiss had been accused of being in a Communist spy ring by a man named Whittaker Chambers. Hiss was accused of copying important classified documents by having his wife Priscilla type them with a Woodstock typewriter to be passed off to the Soviets. The typewriter, with serial number N230099 was in his family for years, but disappeared for awhile, as FBI agents were searching for it, and lead after lead seemed to turn up nothing. But it was eventually found. The typewriter was referred to as the “Ghost Typewriter”. To make this mystery even more intriguing, his accuser led officials to a pumpkin patch, where important government 35 mm films had been stored inside a hollowed out pumpkin. A young congressman by the name of Richard Nixon was leading the charge and testified against him. Alger Hiss did eventually get convicted and spent almost 4 years in jail, though he always maintained his innocence. Oh the suspense and intrigue!
My heart was pounding like a jack rabbit and the details were unraveling like something out of a Mickey Spillane novel! And there sat my beautiful typewriter whispering “It’s only the beginning! Come along with me, kid, And I’ll show you the Adventure of a Lifetime!”
I put a piece of paper in the newly acquired piece that had generations of stories that she would never share. But this is a new story, and a new chapter.
You could put your name on that line just as well. Why should we settle for anything less than amazing? So we may have some character flaws… that adds to the intrigue! I am hobbling around with a crutch and a “rebuilt ankle”, a few extra pounds, admittedly less than graceful but a love for life (and good food). And I have this dog that sticks right by my side. That’s perfect!
And whatever your story is, you are perfect for this as well! Whatever you bring to this story is exactly what it needs! Come on! Let’s make this “The Adventure of a Lifetime!”
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
I’ll be back Tuesday for another post!
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~Helen Keller
Love this post, Amy. You do have a talent for writing. And what a beautiful typewriter – I’m sure you’ll have fun with it.
Thank you, Alison! I do love writing! And I love my new old typewriter!
What a great find, Amy, and how perfect for your blogging. My husband and I love old things too. when we lived in Maine, we enjoyed going to Estate sales, auctions, and even garage sales. I think antiques are intriguing with the stories they have to tell. We are getting ready to go back to the Republic of Georgia, where we’ll be getting a lob-term apartment rental. We are looking forward to visiting the antique shops and flea markets, to furnish our apartment. I’ll let you know what we find. Thanks for sharing another delightful post.
Oh Christina! I often think of how cool the antiques would be in different parts of the country and the world! I’m guessing Maine would have it’s own treasure trove just by the mere fact of where it is and how rich it’s history is! I would love to hear all about your finds on both sides of the pond!
I simply adore your story telling!
Life is such a grand adventure.
Thanks for sharing yours with us.
Distinctly Southern Style
Thank you, Rosemary! I am having so much fun with it! It reminds me of a book I read as a child, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street!” About getting out there and finding things that fill your imagination. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Rosemary!
Amy I love to this whole post! Your typewriter is such a treasure! I absolutely love it! Perhaps the great American novel is in your next chapter. Your raccoon friends are adorable. I am a critter lover too! Hope your ankle is feeling better. Enjoy your summer my friend!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Terri! We sound like kindred spirits! Even as I sit here typing I am looking out my window by the sofa to see of those little masked faces will peer out of a tree at me! The woods are thick behind our house, so you never know what you might see! My ankle is getting better, and I am hoping you have a wonderful summer too!
Amy, I have been searching for an old typewriter for many years!!! How cool you found one, and I loved the story about the Ghost Typewriter. Can you imagine the intrigue!
I love that it works too.
Thank you! Oh I hope you find exactly what you want! It would be perfect for you! It’s so much fun to look for something like that!
I love this so much. And I love that there’s an adventure in almost every day.
It is such fun, Suzy! Can you imagine the trouble we could get into if we lived close to each other?
What a great story Amy!! You make every day a fabulous adventure!!
Thank you, Jodie! This was such a fun post to write!
How cool to find something you have been looking for and is so cool. What a great story and history. I know you will write something fabulous on it!
Thank you, Kim! I think old typewriters are just so cool! They inspire me!