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How I wish I had learned to type when I was young!

Most people today have acquired the skill through years of necessity as computers and mobile phones have become part of everyday lives. 

As a schoolkid, all the " smart " kids learned languages and only the lesser mentally gifted headed off to learn typing, shorthand. bookkeeping or metalwork. What a crock that has turned out to be. As I have matured and wandered haphazardly through this thing called life, I have often regretted that I have had to acquire the skills that would have seen me a much more ably equipped adult.

As a newlywed, sitting down and balancing the cheque book or working out a budget was something I picked up as I went along. At age 17, I got a job in an office, and fibbed about being able to type. My parents bought me an old Royal typewriter and I spent hours each night trying to learn enough to get by. 

As the years have passed, my skills have improved through endless hours at the computer keyboard but I look with envy when I see someone like Redhead's fingers dance across the keyboard as she touch-types an email or composes a message to Rivers to complain about missing parts of her online order.  When she learned to type, it was during the polio epidemic of 1948-1949 when the schools in New Zealand were closed. She was allowed to enrol in a commercial college and there she spent hours sitting at a typewriter with a little apron on it to hide the keys. 

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In spite of many decades of being what is referred to as a " stay at home Mum" she didn't type, but, many years later returned to work and picked up where she had left off so many years before. Because she has always played piano or keyboard, her fingers can dance around very prettily as she taps out her article or email, wrists elevated and hands held " just so."

As a - what I colloquially call it a " bush typist " I have a callous on my right wrist from years of resting my wrist while I type. I have to look at the keys as I churn out my words and sometimes when I feel particularly passionate about my subject, my fingers cannot race around as quickly as I would like and my brain and typing can get a bit out of whack. I must have to travel around the keyboard 4 times as often as a touch typists because I simply am not hard-wired to touch certain keys with a certain fingertip and my journey to completion of a piece is longer than it need be because I never learned that wonderful skill of touch typing.

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My father never touched a typewriter in his life, much less a computer keyboard. If he wanted to send a letter to ask about his war medals or to trace a long lost family member, it fell to me or someone else to listen as he dictated his intent. I would then turn it into a written record and, while I typed as my brain processed the information, I still managed to convey the intent of his words.

There are many older posters these days who have discovered the joy of online communication and camaraderie through blogs such as this. Where people with shared interests can get together for a chat or a yarn and wander down memory lane or simply have a good old-fashioned grizzle. This has become even more important since the beginning of 2020 when many lives have been deeply impacted by loneliness and social isolation.

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We have one person here who pops in from time to time - he only has one arm and painstakingly types out his post with a finger or two. How long it takes, I have no idea, but it would be a good deal longer than many of us. 

And so it is that I come to a recent concern one of our community has over the legitimacy of a fellow poster. It was with enormous sadness that I read his harsh criticism of a newly arrived and very welcome contributor to our pages. His suspicions were quite frankly and candidly laid out. The poster is a fraud and could be the reinvented creation of a now departed and much-missed contributor.

He observed that their writing styles were very similar. Their sentence structure too eerily familiar. The conclusion was, the poster went on, that this person is an imposter and a fraud.

So, with the permission of both parties involved, I can shed some light on the matter and I hope this will put an end to this sad and sorry state of affairs in what is otherwise a pleasant and enjoyable gathering of friends.

 

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The two posters were brothers in law. They were very close. Our current poster has a daughter who is an accomplished typist. Every morning, she would visit with her uncle and they would read through the news together and visit Patriot Realm. She ( I will call her Evelyn ) would then type what was dictated to her. While not sitting typing, she would help her Aunt with showering, dressing etc and in the afternoon, she would head home. 

There are always few posts after the afternoon because the magic fingers were no longer " on tap " pun intended - and only on rare occasions would a post be made after that time - normally because she would get a phone call and would log in on his behalf to type out a quick comment.

Sometimes, her parents would accompany her on her visits and the two older men would laugh and exchange thoughts and, I am told, the odd post would reflect both opinions. She would do her best to form them into a comment that made sense as one person, not two belligerent old so and so's getting overly enthusiastic on a subject that they both felt passionately about.

When her Aunt passed away, she continued to visit in order to be the conveyor of words, and increasingly, her father would join her. The two were becoming the voice of one and she continued to pass on their thoughts and words in writing. 

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One morning, she arrived to find the house silent. No TV blaring, the cat hungry and distressed. Her uncle has passed away.  

Among the many things she did was to quickly put up a post on his Gab account ( which she had set up for him ) and hoped that the message would be passed on. It was. By a lady who lives in America and had gotten to " know " her uncle and many of us here.

It was her idea to encourage her father to take over and continue. The only difference was that he would have his own identity, his own "handle " and she would type from home instead of at her uncle's place.

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I learned of this by email this morning from " Evelyn " as she explained how hurt her Dad is about the accusations. She wanted to type a reply but felt that it would be better coming from me, hence this post.

Whether or not you think that this is an elaborate plot by " Evelyn " or some sinister kid sitting in the basement making fun of us, I don't quite frankly care. 

It is sad that I have had to write this and I feel deeply ashamed that this has even been necessary. 

All of us here are truly Blessed to be able to engage online, particularly in these trying times. For those of us not lucky enough to be able to type, I thank the " Evelyn's " in the world who care enough to give so freely in order to inject a little joy into someone's life.

Let us hope that there can be further engagement from this poster and that " Evelyn's " typing skills will be needed for a long time yet.

 

 

 

 

 

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