Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Memoriam: from this morning's walk

I often walk through a park when I'm in Boston. As the sun was rising, I took off and found this portrait--along with a stray baseball cap, a notice about lost sunglasses, and other local info--tacked to the park's bulletin board.

Not sure if you can read the words. The bullets note how long the dog was a member of the park community and squirrel patrol. Moxie's political views favored off-leash legislation. Moxie was named for the drink, not for courage.

In just a few bullets we get to know Moxie and the humans with whom the dog shared a long, joyful life. Last bullet: Best Friend

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mother's Bad Advice

When I was in high school, my mother told me: "Don't take typing. That way you won't end up being a secretary."

This is probably the worst advice ever. I had to pay friends to type my long papers in college. Remember: back then white out ruled and carbon paper. Cut and paste? Didn't exist. One mistake and you had to retype the entire page, sometimes the entire manuscript.

My husband says typing was the most useful course he took in high school. "No homework." He even enrolled in Typing II after a year of Typing I.

One summer in my 20s, I finally taught myself on a machine like the one pictured here. My husband and I were working on an estate in northern Maine--a remote spot where I had afternoons off. We had no car, nowhere to go anyway, and I had a series of interviews to type up. So I found a touch typing book and got started.

A traveling typewriter sales and repair man actually made house calls, bringing me new ribbons and taking machines away for repairs. Typing took a lot of finger strength.

My daughters say: "Mom, you bang so hard on your poor Mac."

And I say, "Yeah, and you girls learned how to type in high school."