Actor Tom Hanks writes to Stephentown typewriter shop

STEPHENTOWN – In Rensselaer County, you’re likely to hear the sound of keys clacking.

Scott Connors does repairs and restorations at Stephentown Typewriter Company.

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He’s also a collector and a writer, who loves the feeling of typing on a typewriter.

Actor Tom Hanks is a major movie star, but you may not know that he also looms large in the typewriter world.

"He was in a documentary called ‘California Typewriter,’" said Connors.

That documentary is an ode to typewriters and those who use and appreciate them.

Tom Hanks has a big collection. In fact, if there’s a typewriter in a Hanks movie, it’s probably one of his.

Connors decided to write him a letter.

"I said, ‘Dear Tom, if there’s a patron saint of typewriters, you’re it.’"

The days went by, but then, there it was in the mailbox– a letter written by Tom Hanks– on a typewriter, of course.

Connors first thought it was junk mail.

"So I said oh, this is some offer of something and I opened it up, and I saw the paper and the minute I saw the little Hanks logo up at the top, I was like, oh my God, I’ve got a letter from Tom Hanks here," Connors said, laughing.

That letter now has pride of place on his wall.

The two men discussed the Skyriter in their letters.

"This was the sort of laptop of its day. If you were going to get a Macbook Air back in the 1950s, this was it."

As Tom Hanks wrote, it has a grand story behind it, and was made to be small enough to fit on an airline tray table.

Connors loves to bring old family heirlooms back to life for people.

"They can look at them and say, ‘Oh, that was my grandmother’s or grandfather’s.’ It was sitting in the attic, and now we can actually type a letter on it."

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Connors says he’s touched that the famous actor would take the time to write.

They are two collectors, sharing a passion for these old-fashioned machines and their history.