PORTLAND, Ore. — Anthony Valoppi has owned the Southeast Portland typewriter shop, Type Space, for about two years. He spends his days selling antique typewriters and servicing them. Valoppi also answers plenty of emails. None more important than the one that came in last week.
"Said, 'Hey, I'm Tom Hanks' manager and he'd like to come by your shop tomorrow, what time is good for you,' and that's it," Valoppi recalled.
Valoppi said his head started spinning. He offered to open early or to close the shop. He offered to do whatever was necessary to make Tom Hanks feel comfortable. However, Hanks, who is passionate about typewriters, did not want any special treatment. He simply wanted to peruse Valoppi's unique shop.
"At first I kind of let him find his bearings, see what he wanted to get into and then unbeknownst to me he's not a high end collector," Valoppi said. "He collects machines that are working and will take a pounding because he's a heavy hitter on the keys."
Valoppi said Hanks, who spent about an hour at the shop, could not have been kinder if he tried. In addition to snapping some photos with Valoppi, Hanks bought one of the antique typerwriters. Hanks also promised to send Valoppi one of his own.
"It wasn't meeting Tom Hanks the movie star, the actor," Valoppi said. "It was meeting a new friend. It was a typewriter enthusiast."
Valoppi said the chance encounter was beyond special.
"No ego, no entitlement, nothing like that and that's what we all hope he'd be like in real life and he held true to form."