Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt featuring the typewriter demands that I write the OFFICIAL version of a story my husband tells every year around February 27.
It was the winter of 1983. I was “great with child” awaiting the arrival of our second bundle of joy in early March. Barry was working at Signet Bank. He was enrolled in the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management, a three-year program in which participants attended classes one week each year and then wrote papers during the rest of the year.
Each paper had a scheduled deadline. He wrote; I typed. Then the paper was inserted into a manila envelope and mailed to the professor. Deadlines must be observed!
I awoke that Sunday morning, February 27, with that familiar sensation that labor had begun. When I nudged Barry to tell him the news, he bolted upright. “NO!” he said. “You have to type my paper.”
As I had been throughout our college days, I was Barry’s able assistant behind the keyboard. I actually enjoyed typing and still do. Barry hated typing. In fact, he failed typing class in high school because he was busy looking INSIDE the workings of the typewriter rather than actually typing to increase his speed and accuracy. Ironically – or maybe understandably – Barry paid his way through college repairing typewriters and adding machines as a repairman for Price Business Machines in Harrisonburg.
In 1983, our typewriter was the same one from our college days. The Smith-Corona was a heavy thing – portable electric but heavy. Barry set up the typewriter and got me started on his paper while he tended to Daughter #1.
He timed my contractions according to how I typed. Click Click Click Click ~ PAUSE ~ Click Click Click Click ~ PAUSE ~ Click ~ PAUSE. Every contraction brought with it a typing error. There was no “undo” button back then, and my Smith-Corona did not have a built-in erase ribbon either. Wite-Out was our best friend.
Had Barry’s paper been any longer, I might have run out of Wite-Out. I might also have run out of time. As soon as I finished typing, we left for the hospital, and Daughter #2 arrived just thirty minutes later.
SHIFT your attention to Sepia Saturday to read what others have TYPED.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.