Bryan Hanks turns 60 - Part I: A New Hope for The Dude

Bryan Hanks turns 60 - Part I: A New Hope for The Dude

Bryan Hanks asks waitress which end of the spoon he’s supposed to use / Photo by Jon Dawson - Neuse News

Bryan Hanks asks waitress which end of the spoon he’s supposed to use / Photo by Jon Dawson - Neuse News

Jan. 12, 1959 is a day that will live in infamy, for that is the day Neuse News Editor, Voice of the Wood Ducks, Ambassador of Kinston and Dude-caller Bryan Rupert Hanks was born in Thurmond, N.C.  

Turning 60 is a big deal, especially for someone like Hanks who has a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome. No, he's not addicted to peanut butter (although he does buy it by the gallon), but he's a bit of a man-child. Bless his heart, he still wears Care Bears footie pajamas - which can be unnerving if you're standing behind him at the bank. 

Although he turned 60 this week, friends, family and coworkers alike concur that Hanks has the verve and vigor of a 59-year-old.

"Hanks is incredibly spry for his age," said Neuse News publisher B.J. Murphy. "Just last week I saw him tie his shoes in under five minutes."

"Sometimes I get tired of having to cut up his food for him at press luncheons," said WCTI news/sports anchor Brian North. "But Hanks has led a very interesting life. Did you know he was as a lifeguard at Kitty Hawk when the Wright brothers flew for the first time? After that, he worked part-time for the Pony Express while working his way through college, where he earned a double major in lamp-lighting and leech collecting."  

"Bryan who?" said Hanks' brother, Darrell Hanks. 

Although he doesn't speak publicly about it, Bryan Hanks is the fourth cousin of actor Tom Hanks, best known for his memorable roles as the human in Turner & Hooch, a guy in a dress on Bosom Buddies, and the karate expert who beat up Fonzie on Happy Days.

When contacted for comment, Tom Hanks’ representatives pretended to "have no idea who Bryan Hanks was", although they did admit his description matched that of a crazed fan who has on multiple occasions tried to climb the fence and/or swim the moat surrounding the veteran actor's vacation home in White Lake, N.C.

To commemorate his 60th birthday, the Neuse News staff decided to buy Bryan Hanks a gift that would be functional and fun at the same time. Since he currently suffers from hyperekplexia, geographic tongue, intermittent explosive disorder and dyspepsia, the team bought a gift to help him stay healthy.

"Bryan Hanks' favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins," said Neuse News Sports Editor Junious Smith III. "With that in mind, we chipped in and bought him a Washington Redskins pill caddy. He seemed really touched by the gift, but I'm not sure he clearly understood its purpose. When I last saw him, he was using it to alphabetize his M&Ms. We also bought him a thesaurus, which has kept him up many nights trying to find a synonym for the word 'thesaurus'."

Since we've both benefited from Bryan Hanks' generosity over the years, Jonathan Massey and I decided to take the birthday boy to Raleigh for a day of frivolity. What transpired was a combination of gut laughs at each other's expense, ping pong, flying saucers, and somehow Lionel Richie ended up in the mix. Oh, there was also a two-hour roadside ordeal on I-40. 

Here's a little video preview of Bryan Hanks turns 60 - Part II: The Dude Strikes Back, which you can read next week at www.NeuseNews.com:

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Contact Jon Dawson at jon@neusenews.com and www.jondawson.com.

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