Wellesley’s de Peyster family has already won this season’s contest for best holiday gift: Actor Tom Hanks sent them a vintage typewriter.
To be more precise, an Olympia Red De Luxe model signed by the actor himself.
Nick de Peyster wrote to Hanks four months ago after he, wife Julia and their kids went to see the quirky documentary, California Typewriter, that Hanks produced and appears in.
The film is an ode to an old-fashioned machine that some of this town’s most prominent bloggers have used.
And as the documentary details, typewriters are still in use these days by the likes of those such as singer John Mayer and author/historian David McCullough (whose son has been known to teach Wellesley High kids a thing or two about writing and life).
The film inspired Nick to write to Hanks, pledging that if he got a vintage typewriter of his own that the de Peysters would send someone a typewritten note daily and would pay the gift forward by getting another family a typewriter.
“The kids are over the moon” about the typewriter, writes Julia. Which makes me wonder what de Peyster might have received if he wrote to Hanks after the movie Apollo 13 came out.
An ulterior motive for Nick and Julia to acquire a typewriter is that they’ve been imploring their kids to stay in touch with the adults they meet, rather than relying on Dad and Mom to keep up such connections. The typewriter will provide the younger de Peysters with one more tool for connecting, says Julia, who posted photos of the typewriter and related items on her Facebook page.
The de Peysters have set up “a typewriter shrine” to remind them to send their letters. Among the displays are a framed Hanx-o-gram and a signed letter from Hanks that lists Eleven Reasons to Use a Typewriter, including that they are chick magnets and will bother others at coffee shops.
While the family will find it hard to top the typewriter as a gift this season, Julia and Nick have at least complemented it. They picked up the new Tom Hanks short story collection, Uncommon Type, for each other for Christmas.
P.S. We knew this story would go viral as soon as we broke it, and indeed it has spread across the mainstream media. We appreciate NECN for crediting us as the original source on this piece out of the gate, and am grateful to CNN, Cox Media and the Boston Globe for citing us as well.