Posted tagged ‘typewriters’

“Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle.”

September 4, 2016

The first thing I did this morning was turn on the TV for the latest weather. It seems the winds are much greater than they expected yesterday. Instead of 25mph, they could be as high as 4o with gusts even higher. The expected rain total is still far too little, but the weather report has added the possibility of rain on Tuesday so that should help. The storm could affect the cape for much of the week. The only preparation I have made so far is to lower and secure my umbrella, but after I finish here, I’ll go out to the deck and secure what’s left.

The weather now is so lovely it is difficult to believe what is wending its way up the coast. The air is pleasant at 73˚. The sky is a lovely blue and the only clouds are small and wispy. The breeze is from the north and is still slight enough to be harmless.

Last night we didn’t have a movie on the deck. My friend thought it would be damp and too chilly so we changed plans. We had game night, ate Chinese appetizers and then watched the Deadly Mantis on TV. It was a fun movie with all the cliches we expect from a fifties black and white science fiction movie. We had our handsome hero, an air force officer, who falls in love with the female star, an editor of a museum magazine. This film had amazing scenes as many of the film clips were real especially the ones of jet planes, radar rooms and air force bases. Another wonderful clip was of an Eskimo village, their dogs and the men heading out to sea in their umiaks. At the end, the giant mantis was difficult to destroy but our hero was up to the task.

Some of the scientists on an advisory committee in the movie were sitting around the table. They  were holding slide rules. I remembered using one in math class way, way back, and at one time students in my school had to use them. Teachers carted boxes filled with them from room to room. Now, most students would be dumbfounded if asked to identify a slide rule.

I used typewriters and slide rules. To change the channel I had to get up and walk to the TV to turn the dial. My first transistor radio was square, covered in leather and big. A later radio was plastic. It only got AM. There wasn’t any FM. We had a party line for our telephone. It was cheaper. Dial phones made great sounds. I use to keep dimes in the slots of my loafers in case I needed to use a pay phone. Sputnik scared us. The TV only had black and white programs. My bike had no gears, and the brakes were the backward parts of the pedals. It was, by today’s standards, a primitive time. I figure every new generation thinks the previous generation is antique, backward. My two-year-old grand niece, affectionately called G or Georgie, can use the phone to facetime my sister, her grandmother. That was science fiction when I was a kid.

“You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job.”

April 25, 2013

Yesterday was a stay home and do stuff day. All the chores I’ve been putting off got done. When I had finished, I wanted the feat extolled, but alas and alack, I celebrated alone.

Last night I went upstairs at ten, read until 11:30 and slept until 9. It was the sleep of the dead, a check with a mirror to see if she’s alive sort of sleep. Fern and Gracie were my companions, and they slept right in with me. They’re even back to sleep now. Only Maddie and I are awake.

The morning is cloudy. The paper said 61˚ and sunny to partly sunny for today’s weather. I’m not optimistic. Yesterday it was cloudy the whole day. I went outside and filled the feeders, including the suet feeders. Luckily it was fairly warm though damp from all the rain. Today the birds are enjoying a good breakfast. I watched while the coffee was dripping. The male goldfinches are beautiful. They hang onto the new suet feeders, and I have the best view from the kitchen window. A flicker dropped by, and my usuals are in and out. I noticed the deck needs a good cleaning. The birds are not circumspect as to where they leave their droppings. The rail is dappled.

Last week, I watched “All the President’s Men Revisited,” and I was riveted. I remember the summer when the Watergate hearings held my attention every day. I was wan and pale from staying inside watching TV. I read an article the other day which said that the memory of Watergate is fading. “For measuring distance, we in 2013 are now farther away from the events portrayed in “All the President’s Men” than the film “Bonnie and Clyde” was from the real Bonnie and Clyde.” That floored me. I remember everything. My favorite memory is when the committee first heard of the tapes. It was a wow moment for them and for me. I remember John Dean’s wife sitting behind him every day as he testified and helped unravel a presidency. The Saturday Night Massacre made Richardson and Ruckelshaus heroes to me.

I remember the Woodward book and the movie which is still one of my all time favorites. The scene at the Library Of Congress still awes me. Woodward and Bernstein are at a table going files that list all the books the White House had requested. The camera starts to rise until the men are just specks. I also love the noise of the typewriters and the phones in the Washington Post newsroom. The movie is a whodunit, and though I already knew the answer, I watched wide-eyed.

“All the President’s Men Revisited” was on Discovery and was one of the quickest two hours of television that I can remember. Toward the end of the program Ben Stein, who is shown in footage as a young staffer at Nixon’s farewell to his staff, said, “It’s really sad. I don’t think any president has been more persecuted than Nixon. I think he was a saint.” Then he broke down and cried. My first reaction was to think how ridiculous to cry over Nixon and call him a saint. We all know what he did. Later I was thinking about Stein and decided I was wrong to ridicule. Those are his memories, and he has every right to cry.

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