Yesterday, I went down into Boston to meet up with local friends SCI-FI and Mrs. SCI-FI, and longtime reader and commenter Christina. We had a two-hour lunch at Carrabba’s in Peabody, much fun was had, and I got to sign my first autograph. (Christina had me sign her copy of Concealed Carry magazine, the one with me on the cover. I told her to hang on to it, because it may be worth tens of dollars some day.)
I also got to visit with Tom Furrier at Cambridge Typewriter again. I brought him my Royal Quiet Deluxe, and he installed a new platen on the spot in just ten minutes. It’s in perfect shape, not a bit of rust or wear marks, and a fantastic little typer. I’ve heard people in the typosphere sing the praises of the Royal QDL, and if this model is a representative sample, the praise is well deserved. (Typecast from the QDL forthcoming.)
This Quiet Deluxe was on of four machines I got at a garage sale last year for the princely sum of $30. The other ones were an Olympia SM9 identical to the one I already have (just with Elite instead of Pica type), a Royal Custom III, and a Smith-Corona Sterling. The QDL’s platen was shot–it wouldn’t even pull in a piece of paper. For some reason, I thought the Sterling was in bad shape and broken, but it was just really filthy, and merely needed to have the space bar popped back onto the metal transfer bar underneath. This morning, I sat down with some Clorox wipes and a wet dish rag, and it turned out there was actually a pretty nice Sterling underneath all the grime:
This one is from the very late 1950s or early 1960s, the very last Smith-Coronas with the “Super-5” body style. I oiled her a bit, popped in a new ribbon, and she’s running just fine. No idea why I thought this thing was in bad shape. At first, I thought I had bought one plastic 1970s typer, one duplicate of something I already owned, and two paperweights, but now they’re all in working condition. Just the QDL alone would have been worth the $30. The Sterling and SM9 are a bonus. I’m not so hot on all the plastic on the Royal Custom III, but it was a package deal.
Last night after I got back from MA, I put the kids to bed, and we had some of Robin’s stellar chicken bouillabaisse. There may have been some Warcrafting and drinking going on as well. Laundry lists of high-dollar sports cars in case of lottery win aside, my pleasures run on the simple side these days.