Underwood No. 5

September 3, 2008


Underwood No. 5

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

The Underwood No. 5 has been restored by Matt at Ace Machines. It’s been back for several weeks now. Matt worked on it for about a week.
I like driving over the St. Johns Bridge. It’s a small three lane bridge and the speed limit is 35mph. I like going over small bridges slowly. Portland has several bridges. It is sometimes call Bridge Town or Stump Town.
When I was in Budapest, there are several bridges that cross the Danube. All of the bridges are small and pedestrian friendly.
I remember going over the Hawthorne on a daily commute and writing my impressions of it in one of my old journals.
If I can use an analogy of crossing this slow bridge instead of the information super highway, it is like that journey across that slow and beautiful St. John’s bridge which is like typing, a slowness. I cross over into that world to retrieve my Underwood. At the moment I didn’t make this connection. I had to speed through the 205 super highway to get to an area of industrial town and then to the bridge and a beginning of a presence. I was on a surface but a bridge is a connection that is different from the road, a continuation that is endless it seems. But a bridge signals something, a crossing over into something that I’m still trying to work out the meaning, and the symbolism.
It is something like that when one is typing. There is the bell which celebrates the reaching point of a page. One sets these limits and margins of course. It is different from what seems like an endless text wrap. I guess that is what typing on a machine is like. And it is entering into another era and experiencing the gears making something as light as a word on a page and feeling something important being said. It’s like a coughing out of word which actually moves minutely on the surface of the table.

zeb andrew St. Johns Bridge

jonathan smith photography bridges

Grace’s Post: literary-geniuses-and-their-vintage-typewriters.

Writer’s on Writing, Kent Haruf on writing with a typewriter and blind fold.

My collection of typewriters here in strikethru pool



6 Responses to “Underwood No. 5”

  1. Grace Says:

    What a beautiful literary post Duc! I visited Portland recently and loved all of the bridges — there is indeed a feeling and symbolic ambiance traveling across bridges…perhaps of a universal connection?

    Your description of the reality of each word on a typewriter is so true! I feel that when I write on a typewriter, the text and story are so real…in contrast to a computer program, where the file could be corrupted or deleted without any trace of its existence.

    Your new Underwood is just gorgeous!

  2. Ridge Walker Says:

    That Underwood is absolutely awesome!

  3. Chet Says:

    Good analogy, and something only someone working in both digital and analog can make sense of. Which you did! Thanks for sharing the insight.

    I wonder if someone will make the digital equivalent of the EOL (end of line) bell in a word processor?

  4. ducly Says:

    Oh Thank you all for your comments,
    Chet, There was the typing sound that came along with the Yahoo chat or something like that I can’t remember now. But there was no bell!
    Grace, I’m glad you visited Portland! I think you are right about the ambiance and the Universal connection. You picked up on what I was trying to say and now I even see more into my rambling 🙂
    Ridge Walker…What a wonderful name for a blog or even a person. The Underwood is very steam Punk.

  5. Grace Says:

    I really loved Portland during my visit — it made me want to move there 🙂 There is a special, relaxing ambiance about Portland, and I appreciated all of the amazing artists there.

    I did a post yesterday that made me think of your wonderful typewriters and our discussion here…it’s about some of the great authors and the different vintage typewriters they used 😉

  6. […] My visit to Blue Moon. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: