Time For A Typewriter Renaissance?



IT WAS 4 P.M. ON A THURSDAY, two hours until the end of Jesse Banuelos’ workday. He was standing behind the front counter of Berkeley Typewriter, his trademark green apron tied around his waist. A dozen broken typewriters — some electric, but most of them manual – were stacked in a corner on the brown linoleum floor.

Forty years ago, the shop was at the top of its game. But during the ’90s, as computers became more affordable, fewer customers bought typewriters or needed them repaired. Many typewriter stores went out of business. Berkeley Typewriter laid off some staff and managed to remain open by offering services like printer, photocopier and fax repair. Banuelos is the store’s only remaining technician who knows how to fix typewriters. He never learned how to type on a computer and for a time he worried that the typewriter industry would soon disappear.

He was wrong. In the last few years, both typewriter sales and repairs have increased at the store. Berkeley Typewriter experienced an increase in overall sales in 2011, moving about two or three a week. It’s not like the olden days, Banuelos said, but it’s enough.

Most of the typewriters that he sells or takes in are manual machines made between the early 1900s and the 1960s. The dozen or so brands displayed in Banuelos’ front window read like a row of multicolored tombstones: Royal, Remington, Underwood, Smith-Corona, Olivetti, Corona, Adler, Oliver.

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The Ballad of Super Niggs


Brio Pop Magazine

LINWOOD YOUNG GREW UP IN A TINY, RURAL TOWN in the heart of Maryland. He lived there with his mother and two brothers in a trailer connected to his grandmother’s trailer next-door. Neighbors were scarce, but of trees and poisonous snakes there were plenty. For fun, he played in the woods and listened to rap and hip-hop music. In fact, that’s pretty much all young Linwood listened to until the fateful day when the antennae on his radio snapped off.

Static engulfed the airwaves, obliterating transmission of every nearby station except one: a brand new Top 40’s station that played everything but rap and hip-hop. Now, since this was the ‘90s, poor Linwood had little recourse other than the radio. There was no Pandora or Spotify, YouTube or Soundcloud. His only alternative was a tape (yes, a tape) from his older brother that featured tracks from Grammy nominees in 1996, so he gave it a listen. And, as he says, his “head cracked open.”

For the first time in his young life, Linwood heard music the likes of which he’d never heard before. He listened to Hootie and The Blowfish and Joan Osborne, Alannis Morrisette and Seal. “It was like a gift from the heavens or something,” he says. “I quickly fell in love with it.”

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Six Things I Learned From Sleepaway Camp

-Published on ThoughtCatalog.com on May 11, 2011–

1. Being in the “cool” cabin can get you a long way

Sleepaway camp is like high school, only it happens sooner and is more visceral in nature. Instead of worrying about where you sit at lunchtime, you must worry about which cabin you have been assigned. In other words, it’s not who you eat with, but who you sleep with that determines whether or not you are cool.

When you’re in the cool cabin, everything is easier. Your meals are delivered to your table faster than the other cabins; your counselors let you stay up later than curfew (or so you’ve heard); in matters of sports teams, bus rides, and trips to the lake you are always paired up with the hot boys cabin; and your counselors (who are “cool” as well) turn a blind eye to dress-code violations—while the other campers are trudging around in baggy tee-shirts and logo-less hats, the kids in the cool cabin get away with spaghetti strap tank tops, hoop earrings, seductively low jean shorts, and flip-flops.

The world is a cold, harsh place; you learn at this young age, but realize that there is a way to soften the blow. Maybe you weren’t assigned to the cool cabin (as a rule there is only one cool cabin per gender) but you can still be assigned to a neutral cabin. If there’s one thing I learned from sleep away camp, it’s that it’s better to be in the mediocre, plain Jane, “vanilla” cabin than it is to be in the cabin that doesn’t exist. Remember that summer when five girls were accidentally left at the lake? That’s because they were in Cabin 7…the invisible cabin.

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