I absolutely ‘luvbs’ me some Tom Hanks! ~ Vida
Quick, who is your favorite president? Is it Abraham Lincoln? Well, you’ll never believe this but Tom Hanks is related to him. The maiden name of Lincoln’s mother, Nancy, was Hanks, and yes, it’s the same Hanks.
Here is a list of stories about Tom Hanks I’ve heard over the last few miserable months, as it appeared that politeness and civility and manners were facing an extinction event in this country.
Once, in 2008, when he was shooting “Angels & Demons” in Rome by the Pantheon, a bride and her father couldn’t approach the chapel because of the hullabaloo, so Hanks stopped filming to escort them to the altar.
Once, in 2015, he stopped by a table of Girl Scout cookies and bought some boxes, donated an additional $20, then offered selfies to passers-by as an enticement to buy. That same year, he found a young woman’s student ID in a park and used his charming Twitter feed, which is filled with found items, to get it back to her.
Once, in 1997, before shooting “Saving Private Ryan,” Steven Spielberg sent Hanks and other cast members out to do military training in the woods with a former Marine. After spending time in the rain, they all voted to quit the training, except for Hanks, who chose to obediently perform the job he was hired for and spurred the other men to stick with it as well.
These are the regular-nice acts of a person who holds the mantle of Everyman in our movie star culture. But lately they have signified more than simple good deeds. They’re something like the embodiment of a gold standard of menschiness, which is not just gone from the culture at large, but now plays like a parody of it.
There’s more. Spielberg once said about him, “If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he would paint a portrait of Tom.”
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