Tom Hanks is known for his passion for typewriters. And on May 18, that passion led him to Type Space, a typewriter shop in Southeast Portland.
Type Space owner Antony Valoppi describes his encounter with Hanks (who was in town promoting his book via a conversation with novelist Jon Raymond) as exactly what you would hope for from the famously genial actor.
Upon arriving, Valoppi says, Hanks shooed away his security team and became like “a kid on a playground” as he marveled at Type Space and told stories from films like Cast Away (2001).
While Valoppi showed Hanks some of his rarest products (including a 14-carat gold typewriter, one of only 5,000 that were made), the actor was more interested in functionality than novelty. In fact, Valoppi says that Hanks told him, “Just because I have millions of dollars, everyone thinks I have this exclusive, rarity collection [of typewriters]. Let me tell you, I got 200 of them and each one of them functions and I cycle through them. I don’t look at them. I use them.”
Hanks left Type Space with two purchases, a Smith Corona Clipper typewriter and a T-shirt. Valoppi also gave him a gold watch as a gift (and advised him not to wear if he went to Old Town).
“I said, ‘Look, man, when you were doing Bosom Buddies, it was a very dark period of my life. And that show showed me joy, and I want to thank you and give you this.’” Valoppi recalls.
Valoppi sums up the visit by confirming Hanks’ reputation as Hollywood’s reigning nice guy: “He was as genuine, if not more, than you would hope.”