Starting that night, I used the Remington. I wrote a couple of my early novels on it, finally moving on when I discovered the word processor and, later, the computer. I packed the Remington into a box and stashed it in a succession of attics—in Altadena, Pasadena, and finally Nashville.
Somewhere in our most recent move, I lost it. I searched repeatedly, more frantic each time, until I resigned myself to the idea that it was gone—misplaced in a move, maybe even discarded accidentally.
Last weekend, looking for projects in the pandemic, I decided to clean out the attic. I began with an inventory. And there, stuck off in a corner, beneath some old cassette tapes, I found a box labeled Typewriter.
Barely daring to breathe, I carried the box downstairs. I unsealed it and clicked open the dusty case. There was the Remington, gleaming like the day Cousin Minnie had presented it to me.
It’s not going back to the attic. I’ll keep it in my office, and I will use it. Maybe, following the example of Tom Hanks, I’ll type informal notes—shorter than letters, more substantial than emails, written in honest-to-goodness ink.
Cousin Minnie, long gone, would be pleased. Her typewriter still works beautifully. And yes, in case that long-ago neighbor happens to be reading this, it’s still noiseless.