In a truly delightful appearance on Phoebe Robinson’s WNYC podcast Soo Many White Guys, Hanks shared that his favorite White House memory involved former president George W. Bush and a dead bird.
According to Hanks, he and his wife Rita Wilson were at the White House for the dedication of the WWII Memorial, which happened in 2004, where they ran into Bush who was in his workout clothes, en route to the gym. After meeting the Hanks, Bush decided to give them an impromptu personal tour of the White House, including the Rose Garden where they encountered an unfortunate surprise.
“I swear to God, there was a dead black bird laying in the grass,” Hanks said. “He picks up the bird with his bare hands, and says ‘That’s a shame…we get these all the time in the ranch’… threw the black bird in the bushes.”
With a story like that, it’s not hard to imagine why it remains Hanks’ favorite White House memory.