dumpster find of the week: frau dietz and the lost typewriter

The “click clack” in Click Clack Gorilla was born of my love of typewriters, the sounds they make, the way typewritten words look on a piece of paper. While they don’t fit well with the writing processes I have developed via computer use (ie writing a bunch and then doing a hundred rounds of tiny edits that would involve endless retyping on a typewriter), I love to use them for letters, mix cd track lists, labels, and anything in need of a little personality and a pleasant font.

During my first year in Germany I bought an old typewriter at the flea market for way too much money/20 euros. I carried his big grey bones around for hours afterwards, and he even got a ride in a grocery cart with the rest of my week’s rations before being taken home to my little au pair room. I named him Herman, and I wrote a lot of letters on him before eventually selling him at another flea market last year for a few euros. By that time I’d accumulated six typewriters, all found nestled lonely among piles of trash waiting for pick up on the street. And since six typewriters is too many for a tiny little house, I got rid of all but oneβ€”a tiny beige number with a full ink ribbon and no broken keys.

Fast forward to December 2011. I took the train over to Wiesbaden to meet up with expat-blogger Frau Dietz for sushi. I was sitting at the bar watching little ships of sushi float past me on a tiny river when she arrived. “Hope you haven’t been waiting long,” she said. “I was standing in front of this typewriter that somebody left on the street trying to decide if I should take it home or not.” (For the sake of accuracy, she probably didn’t say that exactly, but she said something very like it.)

Then she showed me this picture. If I wasn’t pregnant and totally averse to walking further than I had to and/or carrying anything unnessecary while walking, I would have gone and gotten it right then and there. Despite the fact that I really don’t need to start another typewriter collection. Despite everything.

Frau Dietz contemplated taking it on the way home, we discussed the usefulness of some sort of online “awesome big trash looking for a home” mapping program, and our attention turned to sushi boats and expat gossip. She didn’t end up taking it, so I guess we’ll never know if it found a good home or landed among the refuse. I like to think it’s sitting on the desk of someone’s attic apartment right now, clacking away.

0 Comments on “dumpster find of the week: frau dietz and the lost typewriter

  1. For a moment I thought you had found Frau Dietz in a dumpster…I was looking forward to the photos. Schade! ;-D

  2. I had totally forgotten about the homeless stuff mapping programme. And I’m still regretting not having hoiked the wretched thing onto my back/shoulders/head and carried it up the hill homewards. Oh well. I hope it’s making somebody else very happy πŸ™‚ clack clack clack…

  3. That little typewriter looks very much like the one I had, well still have as it’s at my Mum’s house. It is an Olympia, heavy duty portable and I bought it in the 60s to type Theses on. Hard work and I can’t bear to throw it away. One I would love to have is another Olympia in bright red, called The Valentine, which is a cult object.

    I hope the now shelled Peanut is doing fine, she’s beautiful, and you are doing fine and recovered well.

    I have found one picture of Bo with his tall bike. I can’t find any more, I think I sent them over to him. The best ones are side views but this one is a front view, he’s standing on his stilts. I’ll email it over sometime when I’ve scanned it. Hope you got the others OK.

  4. Tehe, I always imagined the “click clack” came from the gorilla firing away staples at her colleagues in an office battle or something. ^^

    Of course I have a typewriter, too – an old Smith Corona from the 20’s or 30’s. Love it! πŸ˜€

  5. Thanks for explaining the name. The explanation I had in my mind before was about the sound of high heels on asphalt or something – would have seemed soo unlike you.

  6. Very Cool. I just stayed in a place in Seattle (a 68 square foot, transforming, guest house through airbnb.com) that had an old smith corona at a desk for their guest book. Next to it was an on-going stack of entries from those who has stayed there and typed about the experience…..

  7. This was so poetic… oh heaven of typewriters, there are so many knocking at your doors!

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