Actor Tom Hanks on Thursday recalled a fond memory about former President George W. Bush that he and his family have been retelling for years.
Mr. Hanks told WNYC’s “Sooo Many White Guys” podcast that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, and their two sons had taken a White House tour in 2004 when they were in town for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial.
The two-time Oscar winner said they bumped into the then-president on his way to work out, but he dropped everything to act as a tour guide for the family.
“So we get ushered back out into the main lobby with the president, and there he is, and he’s wearing his gym clothes,” Mr. Hanks said. “We’re walking towards the Rose Garden to go into the Oval Office … And I swear to God, there was a dead black bird laying in the grass.
“And we said, ‘Oh, my gosh, look at that.’ And he said, ‘Ah, that’s a shame.’ And he picks up the bird with his bare hands and he says, ‘Yeah, we get these all the time in the ranch.’ And he threw the black bird into the bushes. He said, ‘Ah, the crew will pick that up.’ “
Mr. Hanks said it was Mr. Bush’s nonchalance that made the situation so memorable.
“I gotta tell you. The Hanks family has been dining out on that story for about a thousand years now,” he said.
The “Sully” star, who has frequented the White House over the decades, also addressed his ongoing tradition of supplying the White House press corps with an updated coffee machine.
“It’s a longstanding joke,” he said. “I was on a tour of [the White House] with my kids, and I went back [to the press room], and I saw their coffee area. And it was this sad, little old Mr. Coffee, you know, drip percolator kind of thing, and I said, ‘Is this the only coffee you have here?’ And they said, ‘yeah,’ so I said, ‘I’m going to send you a decent coffee machine.’ “
Mr. Hanks most recently sent his third espresso machine to the White House press corps on March 2, encouraging reporters in a note to “keep up the good fight for truth.”