Chandler Teen Organizes Library Show About Typewriters - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler Teen Organizes Library Show About Typewriters

December 3rd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Chandler Teen Organizes Library Show About Typewriters

By Brent Ruffner


Clack, clack, clack. Ding.

Next weekend, that percussion sound might make typewriter enthusiasts think it’s an early Christmas at a free event at the Chandler Sunset Library.

The event, called the “Type-In,” is a gathering where residents can tell stories and showcase all eras of typewriters.

Organizer Jeremiah Bukovszky doesn’t remember when people would hunt and peck on heavy, metal keys.

In fact, he doesn’t remember when there weren’t cell phones or the Internet.

Still, Jeremiah, 15, stepped in to help organize the event after the original planners were unable to follow through with their commitment.

The spark of interest for the Corona del Sol High School sophomore came after he saw Bill Wahl, the owner of the Mesa Typewriter Exchange, and his business featured on the CBS News Sunday Morning Show.

“It immediately caught my interest,” Jeremiah said.

The teen owns six typewriters – including a Sears Citation, a portable, manual machine built in the 1960s. He has also been writing a blog on typewriters since March 2018.

He said he wants his peers to develop a passion for them. In June, Jeremiah organized a similar gathering that drew more than 100 people to the library.

“I want them to see what they are all about,” Jeremiah said, adding it could be “a brand new experience.”

Wahl, a third-generation repairman, admits he gets an extra spark in his eye with increased popularity from the local youth. Wahl took over the Mesa Typewriter Exchange full-time in 1993.

“The enjoyment of working in this business now – it’s taken on a whole different look from what it did,” Wahl said. “Like I say, 35 years ago, this was just a job. You know, I’d come down here and fix typewriters and go home.”

Educator Ryan Adney helps fuel the interest from younger generations.

Adney, a teacher at Alhambra High School in Phoenix, said he had typewriters in his classroom for five years to inspire interest among his students. He has organized typewriter events in the past and first became intrigued by the machines after he discovered one at his school’s library.

As an English teacher, Adney kept typewriters in his classroom where students typed on typewriters 10-15 minutes each day.

He said the writing ability of his students improved and as they practiced on the machines, they learned to self-identify spelling and grammatical errors.

The instructor isn’t the only educator to use typewriters as a teaching tool.

David Bear, who teaches computer classes at Mesa’s Heritage Academy, takes regular trips with his students to the Mesa Typewriter Exchange. He keeps a typewriter in his classrooms for demonstrations.

“I just wanted my kids to be able to see and touch technology from the 19th century,” Bear said.

Adney said his students saw typewriters as “interesting and compelling” devices that allowed them to engage with words and that regular exercise made it easier for his students to see their mistakes.

“I think kids in general engaging from any sort of tool or technology is really great,” Adney said. “We can’t recreate the past. But we can certainly learn from it.”

If you go

What: Chandler Type-In Event

Where: Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler

When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8

Cost: Free

Brent Ruffner