What is this sailor writing?

This cover of the June 1942 issue of The Gregg Writer shows Yeoman C. David Rohrer writing Gregg Shorthand blindfolded on a blackboard. As written in the editorial,

‘You’ve seen him before — our blue-jacket on the cover. You have, that is, if you were reading the GREGG WRITER back in April 1941, when C. David Rohrer was introduced by Mr. Bowle as one of the winners of our Diamond Medal, awarded those enterprising Greggites who are able to write 200 words a minute on solid matter dictation.


With that speed at his command, Yeoman Rohrer (yes, he too is now in the Navy) was bale to write 160 words a minute blindfolded, at a demonstration he gave for the University of Toledo students on March 27. The day before, he was on the air over Station WTOL (Toledo) in the “Navy on the Air” program, writing a typical business letter at 120 words a minute to illustrate the maximum speed achieved by students in most business colleges; also a “take” at 220 on Congressional Record material. During this broadcast, a highly sensitive instrument was placed near his writing hand and the sound of his pen as it moved rapidly across the paper was brought quite clearly to the listeners’ ears!

Perhaps that is what sent a photographer from the Toledo Blade over to the University for the blindfold test the next day. The paper carried an account of the demonstrations, and the photograph. They have been good enough to lend it to us for our June cover. And what should come along with the letter of permission but a year’s subscription to the magazine from Editor Patterson’s secretary, who had seen the magazines we had sent with our request! We believe that is something “unique” for subscription campaigners. So double thanks is going Toledoward — to Mr. Patterson and Miss Evans both. Glad to have her join our circle of readers!’

There was no TV in those days, so no chance of having a video of him performing the blindfolded feat — we only have a picture — but I bet that at least listening to him writing on the radio must have been fascinating.

Now, take a look at the cover carefully. Click here for a full view. Can you recognize what is he writing?

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