Spotted @: Blue Moon Camera

14 Nov

Fortunately for me, Blue Moon Camera is my local camera store. They sell new and used film cameras and supplies, refurbished typewriters, and operate one of the world’s last remaining optical printing labs. When I lost the lens cap to my Canon, I went to Blue Moon. When I needed to develop the 120 film from the Yashica, I went to Blue Moon. And when I finally succumbed to my obsession with getting a typewriter, I went to Blue Moon.

My obsession with typewriters began as a young girl. I would sit outside my mother’s office and watch her long-time secretary and confidant, Vera, tap away at the keys. My favorite part was when the document would reach the end of the margin, the machine would “Ding!” victoriously, and Vera would systematically slide the moving carriage back to the left, initiating a new line. The intention behind her movement coupled with the methodic repetition of sounds made it clear to me that she was creating something important, something special. I remember when the office got its first computer, and how both Vera and my mother mourned the loss.

As an adult I inherited a friend who insisted “some letters are meant to be written on typewriters.” I didn’t realize it until the words came out of her mouth, but I couldn’t have agreed more.

Here are some examples from my own life:

After dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, a place where we find the hospitality to be unparalleled in the city, I declared to Evan, “I need to write Kimberly (co-owner of said restaurant) a letter telling her just how impeccable and impressive the service is here.” It may sound crazy, but in my mind, this is the kind of letter that should be typewritten. Unfortunately, I did not own a typewriter at the time.

In the late part of summer we attended an unforgettable concert at the Oregon Zoo. I was so taken with the band’s professionalism and style that I intended to write them a letter thanking them for the beautiful night of music. Again, this was a letter I wanted needed to typewrite.

In both of these instances I was bothered by the fact that I felt unable to express my emotions, especially since the emotion centered around my gratitude for others, and the passion and love they put into their work. This is the reason I decided to finally purchase a typewriter.

The Remington was the third typewriter I tried that day. The first typewriter was aqua blue. It felt light-weight. Too light-weight. It only came with a cover, no case. A clear deal breaker. The second typewriter was sturdier, black with red keys. It was snazzy and fresh, like a boy you want to go out with, but know better than to go out with. I moved on to the Remi. The first thing I noticed was its keytop. Forest green typewriter keys with mint green inlay. Well, Hello Gorgeous. The body felt heavy-duty. Reliable. The ribbon spool was fresh, all the typebars worked and each moved with ease.  I was sold even before I saw its matching case, a practical square box, made complete with lock and key. Yes, this one is just right.

Blue Moon appropriately refers to these typewriters as “companion writing machines.” I should mention that they all come warranted.

2 Responses to “Spotted @: Blue Moon Camera”

  1. Moo November 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    She’s a real beauty just like her operator.

  2. GoodStuffNW December 12, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    I am also a closet fan of the typewriter, a person the Urban Dictionary refers to as having typestolgia:

    “(n.) — A nostalgia for old manual and electric typewriters as well as the sound of typewriting on such machines.”

    We have at least five, including the Underwood that my grandmother used for 70 years to do the accounting for my grandfather’s cattle ranch in North Powder, Oregon. Sigh.

    So glad to read your writing again!

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