We all know Tom Hanks’ body of work. He’s done a lot of great movies (and I even remember him in an episode of “Happy Days”, fighting the Fonz; and on “Taxi”, getting stoned with Christopher Lloyd and staring at a lava lamp).
I knew of his love of typewriters because he was in the documentary “California Typewriter” three years ago (it’s an interesting documentary on a dying machine, now that computers are what we use). When Hanks released a book of short stories, I was lucky enough to snag a signed copy with a pre-order. Anyway, he put a picture of a typewriter on the cover.
We also know Hanks is a class guy. We’ve seen him in interviews, and he’s always friendly. I once met a tall basketball player that had a coach live next door to Hanks. A few of the players did something in rather bad judgement, involving Hanks’ kids (I won’t share the story here); but the way Hanks handled it, was just amazing. The guy telling me the story at a party, said he still thinks about that and how wonderful it was that they didn’t get in trouble with their parents, and how he merely explained to them why what they did was wrong. Even with one player breaking down crying, Hanks tried to comfort this guy, who was clearly in the wrong.
An 8-year-old boy named Corona De Vries from Gold Coast in Queensland state, wrote a letter to the star. He said, “I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus. Are you OK?”
He went on to explain that he loved his name “Corona” but people at school have been calling him “Coronavirus” and that it makes him “sad and angry”.
Hanks wrote back, saying, “Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful!”
This was typed, using...you guessed it (or maybe you didn’t, if you’re under 30) -- on a Corona typewriter.
Hanks’ response continued, “You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona -- like the ring around the sun, a crown.”
He ended by saying, “I thought this typewriter would suit you. Ask a grown up how it works and use it to write me back.”
The typewriter was enclosed in the package with the letter.
There was also a lovely P.S.
On that, Hanks typed “You got a friend in ME!”