Photos by Red


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I know you’ll roll your eyes, but it made me smile when I found not one, but two, of Daddy’s typewriters at Mom’s house. It just brought back so many memories.


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I remember the old black one, which is probably long gone, before Daddy “modernized” and got an electric one. I remember taking typing class. And, I remember pulling an all-nighter to write, or technically “type”, my M.B.A. thesis the night before it was due.


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I still can’t believe you did that. Too bad you couldn’t turn in the handwritten version.


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There was none. I had some notes, but I composed as I typed. It forced me to focus. Especially as that typewriter pre-dated ones with an internal correction tape, which meant I had to manually “white out” mistakes and then type over them or start the page over again.

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Seriously?! And that’s not about how the typewriter worked, it’s about how you wrote your thesis!

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Well, at least Daddy’s home office was in the basement, so you could not hear the constant tap-tap-tap. But, that reminds me of the times I would sneak downstairs to find Daddy up late, typing his engineering reports using the two-finger method. Even before people used the phrase “work-life balance,” he would never miss dinner and having time with us, but sometimes would then go back to work.

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Mommy was always a night owl, and as I got older and stayed up late watching old movies (I think I inherited that gene from her), she’d be on her typewriter in the kitchen working on her lists. I can still hear that distinctive sound.

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And, the ding when you hit the end of the line? Regardless, it explains why you found two typewriters. Mom took Daddy’s hand-me-down.

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Given she was once a secretary, she could fly through those keys. And now that I’m going through all of her things, I smile every time I find one of the seemingly endless lists she made. Some of which were handwritten and some typed. But with her handwriting … thank goodness for the typed lists.

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Can you imagine what she would have done if she had a computer? I tried getting her one years ago, but she wanted nothing to do with it.


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Talk about creating a monster. But there’s something, maybe nostalgia, maybe just the fact not everything has to be done in the most modern way, that makes me look at those two typewriters with a smile and new appreciation.


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They are a piece of history, which may explain why there is a National Typewriter Day (June 23). And, typewriters are responsible for the QWERTY keyboard that is still used on our computers and smartphones.


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I never thought about that, although it makes perfect sense. Funny thing is that when Sawyer saw the typewriters, she knew what they were but had never seen one in person. Well, I’m going to keep both typewriters. For now, anyway. Too many memories associated with them. Unless you want the one you used for your thesis.


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Not right now, but if we ever decide to get rid of them, we need to do some research as there is an active market for old typewriters. Of course, if Tom Hanks is interested in either of them, I would love to send him one to add to his collection.


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Tom Hanks collects typewriters? How do you know these things?


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AP News article about “digital burnout”. Apparently, he is an avid typewriter collector. And, it is more than a hobby, as he inspires others to appreciate them.


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I already did, but now I do even more!
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As soon as Black wrote it, it became one of Red’s favorite posts, and now it’s a Red & Black Thanksgiving tradition. After all, what could be a better Turkey Day tradition than memories of a perfect turkey?

And it’s the perfect way to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving that, as Black says below, is … filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I cannot help but wonder why we are online. However, everyone has their own way of celebrating. I know that Red is in the kitchen cooking – and watching a marathon of "The Godfather" movies. Which is perfect as turkeys take such a long time to cook and patience is important when you want it perfectly browned. So inviting, so appetizing, so … naked?

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Photo courtesy of Black


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I’m curious, since you were recently at the Make-A-Wish conference at Disney World in Orlando, did you take your Minnie Mouse ears or oversized Mickey Mouse hands with you?


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No, but I told a few people how I wore them on “Dress as your favorite character day” when we were teaching at KIPP Houston High School.


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That was one of the funniest Red & Black classes. Ever.


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The funny thing is that other than wearing the ears and oversized hands, everything else was impromptu.
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Before Red’s daughter, Natasha, discovered a love of bats (and later, Natasha and Black getting matching bat tattoos), if you asked Red what comes to mind when you say, “Bats,” she would’ve replied, “Batman” – the cartoon strip, the 1950’s TV series or any of the many Hollywood movies. (Don’t get Black started on the business aspects of the franchise.) Black, on the other hand, would mention how many people associate them with Dracula and vampire bats, which may explain why many people are spooked by these nocturnal mammals, thinking they are sinister creatures of the night. But Black knows bats are good … for the environment and the economy. So, it’s the perfect time to give some respect to these misunderstood creatures (not to mention, being able to sleep upside down is impressive) because not only are they a symbol of Halloween but October’s Bat Appreciation Month.



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Thanks for sending me Natasha's Austin-inspired business plan. But while I know that's her future, I can't help but think about the first time I took her to Austin.


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All I remember is that it was love at first sight.


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It was on our way home from taking Sawyer to camp, and I told her we were making a slight "detour". She was so excited when I pulled up to the hotel as she's always loved hotels. But that night, as we walked onto Congress Avenue Bridge and saw the thousands and thousands of bats fly out into the sunset, she was mesmerized and "in love".
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