I’ve just returned from Texas to find that the world may be ending. Patrick’s beloved Woodstock typewriter, owned since he was nine and used for every one of his books, is finally giving up the ghost. With only his two middle fingers, he could type accurately on it at 90 words a minute and it was a terrifying sight. Patrick describes its finest moment:
“NASA were producing a book about the Moon. I was asked to write the chapter on lunar transient phenomena, which I did. I then had a letter back from the NASA editor. ‘Dear Patrick. Thank you for your chapter: it is exactly right. Right length, right attitude, right references. I am delighted with it, and it will go straight to press. Also congratulations – you are the first author to send in his chapter.’ Underneath, in pencil : ‘What the bloody hell did you type it on?’ Sadly, it now needs the services of an expert mechanic. Unfortunately they all seem busy with trifling things such as sending rockets to the Moon. I have had to put everything on hold. Help!”
If you can help Patrick’s poor typewriter, please get in touch. (But you might want to beware a mob of angry publishers – they’ve been waiting for Patrick to convert to a word processor for decades.).