Long-time Richfield Shop Has Piece of Tom Hanks, Now It’s Closing
It feels like an era is truly coming to an end. Collectors will still have these but it's going to get a little tougher for those collectors to get this fixed when needed, now that this shop in Richfield that's been open for nearly 50 years is closing.
Mark Soderbeck is the owner of Vale Typewriter in Richfield. In the 80's he worked long days fixing neighbors typewriters every day. But in the 90's as the popularity of computers grew and his shop went from overbooked...to looking for customers.
Over the years the business changed to fixing typewriters for collectors and he became known for the work he does for these collectors. That notoriety got him the attention of a major Hollywood celebrity.
Tom Hanks has been a typewriter enthusiast for decades. He has his own collection of hundreds of typewriters and recently he's been gifting some of those typewriters from his personal collection to shop owners. Mark Soderbeck for Vale Typewriter is one of the lucky recipients of those typewriters. Tom Hanks even autographed it for him and included a letter.
When I see a typewriter today I can't help but think of Stephen King. If you read his book Misery, or saw the movie, you know why. In that book the deranged character Annie Wilkes kidnaps author Paul Sheldon after a terrible car accident. She is his self-proclaimed "number one fan".
She forces him to write a follow-up to his most recent book so the story can be told the way she wants it told. She gifts him an antique typewriter because she knows he writes all his books on that model typewriter.
Anyway, it just shows what an impact a simple machine can have. Vale Typewriter was the center of the community in Richfield for nearly 50 years. It will soon be end of an era with the closing of the shop.