I was browsing the documentary section of Hulu the other day and a title caught my eye: California Typewriter. The word “typewriter” brought back memories of my mother using her typewriter for medical transcription at both a doctor’s office and home. I remember her using an IBM Selectric and then a daisy wheel. She was using a typewriter up until the early 2000s. This isn’t to say she wasn’t using a word processor or a word processing program on Windows 3.1 as well, but the typewriter was still used.
Back to the documentary.
California Typewriter is named after a business in Berkeley, CA. As you can imagine, the business struggles to keep their doors open these days. This documentary looks into the day to day activities of the employees as well as looking into the patrons of this business. Folks bring in typewriters for repair and maintenance, others come in to buy.
The documentary also shows us some famous collectors like Tom Hanks as well as typewriter advocates singer John Mayer and actor Sam Shepard. They explain why they choose to still use these mechanical devices and steer clear of computers for their writing.
Most of the typewriters featured California Typewriter are non-electric. We even get to see some of the earliest typewriters from the 1800s. Some didn’t even have a qwerty keyboard.
As someone who collects vintage computers, I appreciate their love of these devices even though some of the people on camera put down computers (it hurt a little). However, computers had their say at the end of the film. Halfway through the documentary, I was regretting giving my ex-girlfriend not one, but two mechanical typewriters (she’s a writer). The commentary in this film has convinced me that I need to type letters, ideas, and basically anything that needs to be on paper with a typewriter.
I have a spot for it in my home office. I just need to visualize…
The announcement of Hulu‘s Castle Rock series has made one thing rather clear. This is in fact a very good time to be a fan of Stephen King. In July we will have a film adaptation of The Dark Tower as well as It in September. It was just a few days ago that I shared the amazing piece of fan art inspired by that 1986 novel.
Castle Rock is an upcoming 10-episode series, furthermore it is an exclusive for Hulu. Produced by J.J. Abrams with show creators and writers, Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. Whom you might know from the criminally underappreciated Manhattan.
I’m not sure about you but I am totally digging the vibe of that teaser trailer. As to why this in fact looks to be a Stephen King Multiverse series, I will let the Hulu Press Release explain: “A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
Of course, fans of Stephen King know of Castle Rock all too well. 35 works of King’s fiction feature or mention that fictional town in Maine. Starting with the Dead Zone in ’79 up to 2014’s Revival.
J.J. Abrams went into a little more detail when appearing on a recent episode of The Tonight Show. As well as describing the surreal experience of watching 2005’s The Descent with the author in a movie theater.
In my youth on a Sunday morning it meant two things.
1) My Father would make us both a very large breakfast. Bacon and eggs, hash browns, buttered toast and some sausage links.
2) We would watch the Rifleman on a station we picked up from Tulsa thanks to the rabbit ears on the TV in our living room.
There was actually three things Sunday meant…in addition to those first two:
3) After eating and watching the Rifleman we would take a very long nap.
For those who have never had the pleasure of seeing an episode of the Rifleman before today, the series dealt with Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) who was a homesteader and his young son, Mark McCain (Johnny Crawford) as the two find themselves in various western adventures in the fictitious town of North Fork in the New Mexico Territory. Lucas McCain also happens to be quite deadly with both the Winchester rifle and six shooter, though the program always pushed Lucas’s reluctance to use violence to solve a situation.
The show ran from 1958 to 1963 on the ABC network and as you can see in the photo up top with Sammy Davis Jr., it had almost every popular guest star of the time coming into town and getting involved with Lucas McCain and his son.