Art Skill is an 84-year-old typewriter repairman.
“You have to be around that age to be in the typewriter business,” he deadpans.
“There’s a guy down in Olympia, Washington, who’s 90-something doing it.”
But Skill has no plans to retire, because there’s plenty of work. Typewriters may have been rendered obsolete by computers and home printers, but many people and businesses still own them.
“You can clean them, which will make them look pretty,” he said.
“But if you’re going to use them, you can’t have sticking keys, the backspace has to work, the tab has to work. If the ribbon reverse doesn’t work it’s a bitch to wind it back.”
Hence many typewriter owners seek out Skill’s company, Polson’s Office Products, which has been the go-to place for typewriters since it opened in 1963.
Many Vancouverites will recall Polson’s from its old location on Broadway near Cambie. It’s downsized over the years — now it’s run …