Typing it Out Old School

It’s extremely refreshing when you unexpectedly stumble upon something that really makes your day.  Recently, my wife and I went on a spontanious “play day” date,  just heading out the door and hitting the road (on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui where we’re now blessed to live).  We ended up in Paia, a small and charming eclectic town, located on Hana Highway on Maui’s north shore.  Paia is lined with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and some very interesting souls.  It’s also the last town just before the long and winding journey on the “Road to Hana.”

Smith-Corona Classic 12

Smith-Corona Classic 12

After a late breakfast at our favorite Paia staple, Charley’s, we strolled the street, jumping in-and-out of cool little boutiques.  As we hit our 4th store, it became apparent to me that the majority of these boutiques cater mostly to women, with maybe a token piece of men’s clothing stuffed on a rack in the corner.  Sure, there are a couple of surf-related shops that specialize in t-shirts, but those are mostly chain stores found all over the islands, and certainly not unique to Paia.

As we cruised the shops on Baldwin Ave., we walked into this very unusual store named Mandala Ethnic Arts (amazingly, no website).  Once through the door, I noticed the female sales clerk behind the counter, probably about 22-25 years old, typing on a beautiful Smith-Corona Classic 12 manual typewriter.  In this age of modern technology, typewriters are nearly extinct (the company ended production of manual typewriters in 1984).  Sure, you can find them online, but who actually even uses them?  This refreshing sight of course peaked my curiosity, so I immediately started a conversation.

Jordan Typing Old School

Jordan Typing Old School

Her name is Jordan, and she acquired this classic typewriter from a friend who found it at a garage sale somewhere in the Midwest.  It was hardly used, in its original case, and in very pristine condition.  Jordan uses it to type actual pen pal letters.  Yes, she actually places a fresh piece of typing paper in the platen (or roller as some call it) of the typewriter, and manually types out a letter.  By the expression on her face, it’s obvious she enjoys it tremendously.  She even types the address on a plain envelope, folds the freshly typed letter inside the envelope, places a postage stamp on the front and sends it via US snail mail. Refreshing, right?!  No clicking the send button for instant gratification.  Can you imagine how wonderful the feeling of receiving a real typed letter with actual typewriter typeface from someone?

Now, my MacBook Air is the coolest machine I’ve ever owned, but to see someone typing old school was a real treat – and on such a beautifully designed vintage typewriter.  It sure brings to mind how refreshingly simple and manual things were back in the day!  Funny, I could not resist asking her how the red mouse to the left of her interfaced with the typewriter!   Thank you, Jordan, for making my day!


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Categories: Cool Memories, Crazy Observations, Old School, Social Media, Twitter, Typewriter, Writing
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