a great find!

Posted on June 5, 2010


On my way home, about a week ago, from selling back the plastic, cans and bottles from our house I saw a sign for an estate sale only a street away from my house. It was raining, as usual, but I felt an invisible urge to check things out, and having just made $3.75 from my trip to the recycling stand I knew I might have enough to buy something cool, and old, and Portland. I love buying cheap, old, Portland-esque things, so I parked my car and walked inside.

Estate sales are garage-sales indoors. And this one was no different. Glass bottles, chipped dishes, and old chairs most likely pissed on by a cat, littered the entire house. But as I peered around the room anxiously, I found something out of the ordinary. It was a covered monstrosity that I could only hope to be an old typewriter.

Like a child, I uncovered the machine and saw that my suspicions were confirmed. The price-tag said $10 and I knew it wasn’t an option.

“Would you like any help?” An elderly lady said from behind a table. By the looks of it she had cleared quite a bit of money in the five hours the sale had been open.

“How much would you sell me this type-writer for? I’ve always wanted one and this one looks to be in fairly decent shape.”

“They were all built to last young man, just like my generations cars and trucks. Writers seem to need something heavy-duty to write on. They’re crazy you know?” She smiled at me and I felt oddly connected to this perfect stranger.

“I’m a writer… Well trying to be a writer that is. That make me crazy?” I asked jokingly.

“No. You seem like a nice young man, but I’m sure there’s a madman somewhere under there! $5 for that heavy thing…”

“It work?”

“Of course it works!” To prove it to me she grabbed a piece of paper and walked over, cycling it through the machine like she’d done it a million times.

Buy me! She typed.

Yes ma’am. I typed in response.

“I’ve only got $3.75. Could I go get more and bring it back? I live one street over!” I think she could tell I was excited.

“Just take it! Every writer should own a typewriter, and that’s a good one! Just make sure to get a new ribbon. You can get em on the internet.”

‘Thank you so much!” I said, handing her my money and lifting the machine, like an old friend or a grandfather. I loaded it into my car, but not without some difficulty! I get home and unload the typewriter from my car, and sheesh, it’s heavy! I’d say about 40 pounds, maybe more. And cumbersome too! Then I Google the brand. Cha-Ching!

To my surprise I’ve just scored the Rols-Royce of typewriters. They sell online for between $95 and $150 in bad condition! The moral of the story? RECYCLE DAMNIT! In exchange for cans and bottles, you might just end up with something valuable!

Posted in: blogging, Life