Athenian adventure

by | Aug 8, 2021 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

I was invited to a small typewriter collectors’ get-together in Athens, Ohio this weekend. It’s a lovely drive on US 50, passing through places such as McArthur.
We gathered in a park, where kind organizer Dave Brechbiel and his wife Sherry were ready with cookies, veggies, and cool water. Dave also organized Virtual Herman’s last year. No wonder he was the worthy recipient of this year’s QWERTY Award—which was presented to him at dinner.

Dave got us started on Show and Tell with a story about the provenance of his Corona Zephyr.
My fellow Cincinnati-area collector Mitch Hamm told us about his beautifully restored Remie Scout.

Brandon Bledsoe showed us his dealer-repainted mint-green Royal portable.

Kirk Jackson (Nashville Typewriter) showed us a Lettera 22 once owned by pioneering TV critic Dwight Newton, complete with a letter by Newton about all the good things that came from this typewriter.

Dave Cannon told us how he got the Remington that has written many books with him.

Mark Petersen (Totally Your Type) showed us a bargain Underwood with a filed-off serial number that has brought him much joy. 

Preston English told us about several typewriters, including a very rare Royal HE electric with a wide carriage and a half-backspace key (on the far left on this table).

I myself showed the group Heidegger’s typewriter.
Plenty of other machines were on display or for sale. I brought my folding Hammond and took this shot of it next to a wonderful letter from a Parisian Hammond dealer, in Mitch Hamm’s collection.

Herman Price brought these extras from his collection for sale. You can see a Western Union Underwood mill (caps-only telegrapher’s typewriter), an Annell’ (relabeled Woodstock), a Stearns, and peeking out at the right of this photo is an ivory-colored Student (Bing no. 2 name variant).

A typewriter was hurt in the following part of the afternoon’s events.
This is a Royal Scrittore II, a ca. 2012 typewriter made in China.
I’m sure you’re asking the question I posed in my 2013 review.
Most religions involve some type of sacrifice, and typewriterism is no exception. Brandon and I had been planning to throw this machine from the window of a moving car, à la Royal Road Test
(memorably recreated in “California Typewriter”). But instead …

Mark demonstrates his skill with a slingshot:

Too bad, so sad.
At least the Scrittore, which can’t type worth a damn, did do something very well in its final act: it provided catharsis after an absolutely wretched year.

Our other activities included a round of miniature golf.

The winner of the tournament was Viktorija Hamm, who got an appropriate prize.
I said goodbye to four typewriters from my collection, including this Siemag II T

… this Woodstock …

… my maroon Norwegian Klein-Urania …
… and this nearly immaculate Adler Favorit II. 

Here’s Adam S. testing the machine (but the buyer was Kirk).

I love these typewriters, as I love every machine in my collection, but I am learning the art of letting go. At this rate, if I make it to my actuarial time of death, I may get the collection down to a reasonable size for my heirs.
I have to admit I was sorely tempted by the prettiest R. C. Allen I’ve seen:
But I resisted, even though Dave was giving it away for free and it spontaneously typed an appeal to me.

Happily, it did find another home.
And I have to admit that my trunk did leave Athens …

… with a new addition to my collection.



  1. Ted

    Fantastic! Although, I'd've tried to drop a Royal Mercury into the shell of that Scrittore II, just for the fun of seeing what it *coulda* been. (:

  2. the_avenger

    Is this the old tradition of hitting something really hard – and then loads of sweets come out? Isn't it? I must say – as an European – your traditions are a little weird. But I like them.

  3. Richard P

    The piñata is a Mexican tradition adopted by many in the US. Unfortunately, there were no sweets in the Scrittore!

  4. Mark Petersen (totallyyourtype)

    Hey, your net change was still a decrease! So that's still a success!
    Kind of like the net change of Scrittores in the world…

  5. Nashville Typewriter

    What a great time!
    To get to hang with some of the typosphere's best and brightest, ogle typewriters, be reminded of my horrid skills with a putter, and put some new faces to names I greatly respect?
    Well, it was a wonderful weekend, and much needed after the dismal year 2020 ended up being.
    Many thanks to David and Mark for planning this, and of course, to yourself for the STUNNING Adler Favorit and burgundy Klein Urania. I look forward to this happening again, maybe I can host one here in Nashville?
    I have to say, the "Office Spacing" of that Scrittore was a highlight of the gathering. I've laughed over and over watching Richard get that first shot in!

  6. Richard P

    I still haven't seen the video of myself whacking the poor thing.
    I'd love to come down to Nashville for an event like this!

  7. David Brechbiel

    The "New" Royal Road Test was hilarious to watch and I hope Brandon will shadowbox it and bring it to a future gathering for all to enjoy. The poem that mysteriously appeared on the RC Allen was written by Mark P. The Poor RC even pulled on Richards' heartstrings with a Heidegger quote. In the end the RC found a treasured spot in Preston's car. Somehow, someway an RC Allen is going to find its way to Xavier.

  8. Anthony Godoy

    I hope that RC Allen went to a good home. I would like to acquire a wide typewriter, but remember, I'm, not "collecting."

  9. Richard P

    Keep telling yourself that, Anthony. Keep telling yourself that.

  10. Teipiadur

    This is pure eye joy – thanks for sharing these pics and stories, looks like a fabulous time.
    – Sam @ Teipiadur


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