Happy birthday, Jim Young

Scene to be seen column
By: Kathy Dorsey and Jeeves
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Best of the best ... Lincoln resident Jim Young took time out from traveling to celebrate his 80th birthday. Jim has been receiving well-deserved birthday honors from his wife, Rosemary Young, along with his many friends and family. For the past four years, he has also won “Best Husband” tributes from a downtown Lincoln’s women’s apparel store, Congratulations, Jim, and best wishes for many happy returns. Pedal power ... Margi Grant also celebrated her recent birthday with a special treat. Not one, not two but three wheels come with Margi’s new mode of transportation. Look for Margi to be pedaling her tricycle on Lincoln streets. And also look for her to start a new trend in Sun City. NEV lanes may soon have to give way to pedal power. In focus ... Owner Diana Burke of Simple Pleasures Restaurant and Catering (645-1251), 648 Fifth St., welcomes Lincoln Hills Photography Group and its new display of 33 photographs. The show features color plus black and white photographs by local artists. Works by John Campbell, Rhonda Campbell Rudi Franke, Carol Haskell, Gary Kost, Sande Parker, Dave Polson, Bill Szabo, Jack Wartlieb, Verna Webb, Zane Webb, Larry White and Vicki White are on display. Simple Pleasures is open from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Starting tonight and every Thursday night through Aug. 25, Simple Pleasures will be open for dinner during Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce’s Farmers’ Market in downtown Lincoln. After the market, why not enjoy a steak sandwich on the outdoor patio while listening to the sounds of Lincoln Highway? Lincoln Highway kicks off this years Farmers’ Market followed by the Fabulous DeVilles on June 16, Dudley and the Doo Rights on June 23 and Inner Outlook on June 30. Categorically placed ... Alan Lowe reports that the annual Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest is now underway. Presented by Poets Club of Lincoln and sponsored by Lincoln Library and Friends of Lincoln Library, the contest is now celebrating its seventh year. This year, there are five categories under which poets may submit poems. Categories include “Getting to Know You,” “Seeing is Believing,” “It’s a Crime,” “Three Wishes” and “A Valuable Lesson Learned.” Each poet may submit up to three poems in rhyme, free verse, Haiku or other accepted poetry formats up to 40 lines. Like last year, there is a separate category for young poets, 18 years or under. Early submissions are encouraged. The deadline for all submissions is Saturday, July 30. Entry forms and contest rules are available at the front desk of Twelve Bridges Library ( 434-2410), 485 Twelve Bridges Drive or they can be downloaded from For more information about the Poets Club of Lincoln, contact President Sue Clark at 434-9226. For more information about Friends of Lincoln Library, contact President Karen Jarrell at 408-5006. Just in from Jeeves ... Last week, Jeeves met with the Downtown Dogs around the fountain in Beermann Plaza. The fountain is their favorite watering hole. They like to think of their gatherings as being Lincoln’s answer to The Algonquin Round Table. The Algonquin Round Table started meeting in 1919 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Also known as “The Vicious Circle,” this group was comprised of well-known writers, critics and actors. Early members were Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley and Edna Ferber. Over the next eight to 10 years, the group expanded to include more than 20 other members such as Harold Ross, who edited The New Yorker plus sports writer Heywood Broun and actress Tallulah Bankhead. Lincoln’s Downtown Dogs form a much smaller group and are less noteworthy. During their recent meeting, they spent most of their time talking about the demise of the typewriter. Jeeves learned the world’s last typewriter factory, Godrej & Boyce, closed. Typewriters became obsolete when word processing became cheaper and more accessible by means of personal computers. Nevertheless, both he and the dogs mourn the loss of an instrument that once played such an important part in our lives. Although Jeeves owns a portable typewriter, he can’t find a ribbon for it. So he uses a laptop to compose his columns. There is a very famous dog that used a typewriter. This dog is known throughout the world and he is a creation of Charles Schulz. His name is Snoopy. Most of us recognize the image of Snoopy sitting on his dog house while he types, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Jeeves wondered about other authors and what they used to write their novels, short stories, plays, poetry, screen plays and other works of art. For example, what brand of typewriter did P.G. Wodehouse use to write about his namesake, the gentleman’s gentleman known as Jeeves. Jeeves discovered that “P.G.” stands for Pelham Grenville and that Wodehouse used several brands of typewriters throughout his career. First, he used a Monarch. Then he used a 1940s Royal desktop, and later, he is photographed using a Royal standard electric typewriter. While doing his research, Jeeves also made some other discoveries. The first typewriter patent was obtained in 1714 but typewriters did not gain greater acceptance until the 1860s. Mark Twain purchased a Sholes & Glidden in 1874. However, he completed most of his works in longhand. But Twain is recognized as the first person to submit a novel, “Life on the Mississippi,” in typed form to his publisher. The creator of “James Bond 007,” author Ian Fleming, used Royal portable typewriters and is reported to have owned a gold-plated one. Similarly, Bing Crosby, Ernest Hemingway, Katharine Hepburn, Dashiel Hammett and Ring Lardner used different models of Royal typewriters at various times throughout their lives. Hemingway also made use of an Underwood typewriter as did Carl Sandburg, Damon Runyon, Raymond Chandler, Earle Stanley Gardner, Sinclair Lewis, Carson McCullers, Jack Kerouac and Roy Orbison. But John Steinbeck used both a Hermes Baby and IBM while J.R.R. Tolkein used a Hammond and Jack London used a Standard Folding. Jeeves has not yet been able to find out which brands of typewriters that the authors of The Algonquin Round Table may have used. He did learn that Robert Benchley once said that, “The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon.” Now that the typewriter is becoming a relic of the past, Jeeves wonders what types of processors and software these authors would select if they were writing today. Hemingway and Kerouac wouldn’t need to worry about the weight of lugging a typewriter with them on their many different types of travels. They could simply take a small disk with them in their shirt pockets. This disk could hold all of their works in one space, along with an entire dictionary and thesaurus plus spell and grammar checking software. But Jeeves continues to hold onto the romantic notion that they would prefer heavier equipment. He believes that their typewriters were as much a part of them as their ideas. Jeeves is reminded of a Dorothy Parker quotation. She said, “There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.” Jeeves believes that there is an equally big distance between word processing and writing. He deeply regrets the loss of something, albeit a heavy machine, that was so much an integral part of the 20th-century’s best writings. Jeeves is sure that if asked to use a word processor, Parker would have said, once again, “You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.” Sad note ... We extend our deepest sympathies to Lincoln News Messenger Stephanie Dumm and her family for the loss of her uncle, Anthony Valerio, 53, a firefighter and paramedic who died on Saturday at San Francisco General Hospital. Together with Engine Co. 26 firefighter Lt. Vincent Perez, 48 who died a week ago Thursday, these two brave men died as a direct result of trying to put out a fire in a San Francisco home. If you have an upcoming event or story that you would like to share, please call 645-0660 or e-mail Kathy Dorsey is owner of Wardrobe, 517 G St.