Selectric Typewriter Museum

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I was born on the day that the first American astronaut went intospace. This was in another state, but we soon moved and I grew up in Tucson. I attended the University of Arizona for four years, and earneda bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. While there, I met awonderful girl, and after graduation we married, and have lived inSierra Vista, Arizona since then.

I've been interested in cars since I can remember, and started building models when I was about eight years old. I still have quite a few of the models that I built when I was a teenager. In 1969 or 1970, my father bought a 1961 Chevy convertible for $32, with the stated intention that when it quit running, my brothers and I could take it apart to see how it worked. When I was 14, it quit running, and I did indeed take it apart, but I put it back together again, and we drove it for a few years, with it's overhauled engine running well. I also spent quite a bit of time fixing the other cars we had, as well as the neighbors' cars. As a senior in high school, my twin brother David had a job at one of the first computer stores in Tucson, getting some of the early commercial microcomputers to work right. He agreed to spend some money on parts and machine work for a 396 engine I had bought at a junkyard, so a couple months before graduation, we performed our first hot rod engine swap, putting the 396 into the 59 Chevy truck my dad had bought a couple years earlier. David and I drag raced the truck at the old Tucson Dragway, and somewhere I still have a thick stack of time slips, mostly in the 14 and 15 second range. I still have the truck, and up untill a few years ago, it still had that engine in it.

About the time I started college, I got a part time job at a local auto salvage yard. I worked there for a few years, then decided to change careers, and took a part time job at a local transmission shop. This almost minimum wage work covered part of my school and living expenses, although I did get help from my folks. After I graduated, I ended up working at Fort Huachuca, as an electronics engineer in the satellite communications field. This was fun work, until I finally got promoted past my level of incompetence, into a section chief position in another engineering branch. Since my wife was making good money, I decided to call it quits, and left the security of the government paycheck to start my own business.

Kids came along somewhere in there, Steve was born about a year before I quit my job. I started up Aardvark Automotive in a rented space, and fixed cars and worked on hot rods there for about 4 years. Gary and Kevin were born three years after Steve, and eventually I realized that it was silly to pay just about all of what my one man shop was earning, for daycare. We moved out to the country, where I could build a good sized shop, and I became a part time at-home worker, and stay-at-home dad. I think it's the perfect career, although my wife has concerns about my low productivity.

How do typewriters fit into all of this? I've always been fascinated by machines. I recall typing up a sixth grade English paper on a Selectric at my dad's work. When I was signing up for classes for eighth grade, my mother suggested that it would be useful to know how to type (we had a Royal portable typewriter). Then when I was a senior in high school, I had already completed all the math and science classes that were available, so I took two "fun" electives, typing and auto shop. I suppose that's where this web page has it's roots.

My political position (inherited) is liberal, but being married to a conservative, I see both sides of many issues. I think that the most reasonable place to be is middle-of-the-road, leaning towards the opposition party. After all, not many of the major issues are either-or, and most of the real problems are concerned with where to draw the line. On the issues that are divisive, I tend to take the position on the side of personal freedom, as opposed to that of an authority.

I don't have religion, although I went to church regularly until I became a teenager and was allowed to stay home. I was never "forced" to believe any of it. From reading I've done recently, it seems that most people are more susceptible to religious thought than I, and that people generally take on the religion of their culture, or family. It appears that evolution has built our minds to work in this way. I strongly support the First Amendment and the idea of religious freedom. I wish that more people in this country would understand that just as other peoples' religions do not apply to them, their religion does not apply to me.

Just for fun, here's the infamous "nail in hand" picture. Not for the squeamish!