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Best of Luck to Richard Snow

I always knew that Richard Snow would do something interesting. He was by far the cleverest kid in the class during my three years at Bronxville School. He wasn't a friend, exactly, but the friend of a friend, and I saw a fair amount of him. He was the first genuinely witty person that I ever knew, and I learned early to keep my own mouth shut when Richard was around. It was difficult to avoid his intentions entirely, however, as I was already one of the tallest guys in the class and he among the shortest.

Of course, I wish I'd found out what Richard has been up to all these years in happier circumstances. It appears that American Heritage, the Forbes publication that took on Richard in 1965, in the mail room, and of which he is currently the editor, is about to suspend publication. That's sad news, especially as the magazine has as many subscribers these days as it has ever had, if not more.

He said he was still unsure of his own fate, but if need be he could go back to writing historical novels. "I've written four," he said. "Two were loathed by everyone who read them, but two actually got published." And no matter what happens, he has worked out a crucial point in his severance. He gets to keep his Royal manual typewriter.

"That was the typewriter that I was assigned to in 1970, and it will follow me to the gave," he said, and he added, "I wish this were more a sign of granitic stability, but in fact it's a sign of my computer incompetence. I use it just to type labels, but it works beautifully. Every year somebody comes in and cleans in. I don't think he's paid by Forbes. He's some spectral presence who just turns up."

Good luck, Richard!


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Typewriters! Friends have chastised me for my finding them practical. But I am buying one anyway.

Thank you for sharing this bit about how to defy "computer incompetence" - old fashion. Or the classics, shall I say.

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