Junior Reporter: My Evening with Tom Hanks

November 17, 2017

Junior Reporter Rema R. had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by our friends at City Arts & Lectures where actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks talked about his new book, “Common Type”. Oh, and did you know that Tom Hanks was a history buff? Thanks for that tidbit, Rema!

My Evening with Tom Hanks

If I were a castaway on a deserted island, I know exactly who I would want to be with, and one of those people would definitely be Tom Hanks. He is funny, witty, and a great storyteller. Who would not want to be stranded on an island with a storyteller?!

Tom Hanks grew up in Oakland and Alameda just across the Bay from San Francisco. His knack for storytelling comes from a very interesting childhood. He moved a lot and had several step-parents and siblings. While in high school in Alameda, he was very involved in musical theatre.

There are quite a few things he is passionate about, and one of them is space exploration. His love for space exploration developed when he was growing up at a time when there was a race to the moon.”There is nothing like the feeling of traveling in space, in a spaceship the size of a Volkswagen, in a dreamlike-state approaching the equigravisphere”. If you are wondering like me what equigravisphere is, it is the moment the gravity from the earth stops pulling you in, and the gravity of the moon catapults you towards it. Someone in the audience asked him about commercial moon travel, and his answer had me laughing belly laughs His response was: “People are going to upchuck and then they are going to die– and the ones that make it are going to see rocks. Lots and lots of grey and black rocks.

His first visit to Chabot Observatory when he was a kid blew his mind. He was looking at Jupiter. He felt like there was nothing in between him, the lenses of the telescope, and Jupiter.

Did I mention that Tom Hanks is a history buff? He is like a walking library–but not the boring dusty ones. He believes that history repeats itself; people have power and want to hold on to it. “People elect buffoons, but we have a self-correcting nation.” It felt positive to hear him say that, and I hope that the self-correcting happens very soon. Someone in the audience asked why Hanks hasn’t run for president. He said that actors and reality show hosts should not run for president.

An interesting piece of history that he was not taught, and wished he had known before, was that John Adams, our second president, was a lawyer who actually defended the British colonists who wanted the British to govern the US. I thought that was a very interesting fact because I did not know that a traitor could become president.

The night was warm, the theatre was sparkling, and I was laughing so hard at Hanks’ jokes that there were times I almost fell off my chair. I had a wonderful experience and was happy to receive his book, Uncommon Type. I would be delighted to hear him speak again.