Texarkana, TX 35° View Live Radar Fri H 54° L 50° Sat H 64° L 38° Sun H 58° L 37° Weather Sponsored By:

Angels unaware? Remarkable tale saved for posterity

Angels unaware? Remarkable tale saved for posterity

February 9th, 2019 by Tri-City Herald in Features

A faithful Remmington typewriter captured many special memories of Noralee and Paul Fisher, pictured in their 1946 wedding photo. (Courtesy Jane Sherrick/Tri-City Herald/TNS)

America is flush with personal stories, those bits and pieces of history often told 'round a crackling campfire or on a grandma's warm lap. Nonetheless, as memories gray and young'uns colorful images fade, repeated tales stretch—with a wink or two.

But what if these tales had been captured in black and white?

Back in the day, Paul Fisher made sure future storytellers got his tales right. His remarkable experiences were either handwritten or tapped one key at a time on a faithful Remington typewriter.

"He was the talker, so he'd have my mother type it or write it down," Jane Sherrick of Lima, Ohio, said, reminiscing about the pages she holds nowadays. "My mom wrote them up and he was dictating."

Evenings or weekends you might hear the scratch of a fluid pen or the zing of the carriage return accompanied by a rhythmic clickety-clack. This was Paul and Noralee's "together time" recording pieces of their lives.

Typewriters and cursive were a familiar part of their world. Daughter Jane remembers how even as a youngster he had said that one day "there'd be one (a typewriter) that would make the letters look like writing" even before there was any thought about italics.

The intriguing machines were in his future too.

After the Second World War and marriage to his hometown sweetheart, Paul worked as a typewriter repairman in his brother's downtown shop in Lima. The U.S. Army veteran was up close and personal with metal keys, rollers, and ribbon—any part that would keep a boss' secretary humming or a news reporter's fingers flying.

It was in this typewriter shop off the beaten path that an unforgettable incident happened—and later recorded for generations to follow.

"According to him he was working there alone," Jane said, as she set the scene. "He had some kind of accident with his screw driver, must have slipped in his hand."

The tool and the force he was using on a stubborn typewriter sent the sharp metal edge into his opposing hand with disastrous swiftness. A deep gash flowed red from his nearly severed finger. Grabbing a tired rag to stem the stream of blood, Paul clumsily wrapped it, holding his makeshift bandage tightly.

But how to summon help?

This was the 1950's, long before smart phones and a 911 call could be made with only a plea to Siri. Back then a black rotary telephone only mocked any attempt Paul might make at dialing. To complicate the accident, the repair shop was well off the main street in town with few walk-ins. Only someone intent on a purchase or a typewriter mend would seek out the small building.

As Paul quickly considered his options for emergency care, he was startled to look into the faces of folks he had never met before, in a town small enough to know your neighbors.

"These two people came in—he hadn't heard them enter—and they didn't look like people who'd be coming into the typewriter store," Jane said, retelling the story. "They were dressed very well, just something about them that was different."

As the strangers listened to the injured man's brief apology—obviously unable to assist them—they immediately dialed a taxi, one that he could expect to arrive in a few minutes. Relieved, he worked the bandage tighter.

"When he looked up, they were gone," Jane said. "And he hadn't heard the screen door close, which always made a sound. They just disappeared."

Visiting angels? A thought the typewriter repairman pondered, and then recorded.

A remarkable experience in black and white—without a stretch or a wink.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com