Today was the 8th Phoenix Type-in, and what a great time! I thought that I would only stay a couple hours, but instead I stayed for five. There were a lot of great people there and just as many great machines. The crowd seemed to have come in waves, ranging from just a few to about 30 people, but no matter who was there, there wasn’t a single typewriter that was not happily typed on.
To the type-in I brought my Triumph Gabrielle, Olivetti Lettera 32, Olympia ITC, and my Smith-Corona Silent-Super, just a few of my collection. All were popular. Another popular group of machines seemed to be the Hermes Rocket, as there were not 1, not 2, but 3! All were from different owners and eras.
I found this as very coincidental. I personally preferred the mint green Rocket, though all of them were very fine indeed, and I hope to someday add one to my collection.
A popular event that took place was the speed typing contest. Any person who entered was required to type the first sentence of a book that was said to have been written using the same typewriter used in the contest- a vintage Underwood (this is another machine I hope to someday collect):
Cameron, the organizer, then read every sentence typed by the contestants, and add a second if he spotted an error. This was the prize, a Smith-Corona Skyriter:
I entered the contest, but I did not win, nor did I expect to. Congratulations to the winner!
Many people during the type-in grabbed a nice coffee or drink from the book bar to commemorate the event, as each drink was named after a typewriter:
Another fun event was the Poetry on Demand crew. A couple expert poets were seated at a table each with a typewriter, and, asking for nothing more than a tip, would pound out a personalized and perfect poem just for you, after interviewing you with a few simple questions on what you want your poem to be about. I got one, and it makes me smile every time, as it is about a second life as a cat. They seemed to be very popular as well.
After all of this, the documentary California Typewriter was played on a couple of screens with subtitles. It is a movie starring a small typewriter repair shop in California. The role of Tom Hanks talking about his large collection is what gave it it’s popularity.
All in all, it was a successful turnout. I had a very enjoyable experience and I know everyone else did as well. Joe Van Cleave, who runs a typewriter video series on Youtube, made an appearance all the way from New Mexico, as did his recording equipment. Including me, he interviewed numerous people about the type-in, and as I understand, he will soon post this video on his Youtube page.
Before I go until the next post, here are just a few more pictures of the type-in in action and some of the gorgeous machines that showed up: