Jon Dawson: Bryan Hanks turns 67

Bryan Hanks enjoys a can of ginger ale Ensure before a Connie Francis concert in 2018. Photo by Herb Ritz

January 12, 1955, is a day that will live in infamy, for that is the day that Bryan Bartholomew Hanks was born.

Growing up in Thurmond, NC, young Bryan Hanks routinely made the honor roll at Lancelot Link High School. Along with his academic achievements, Hanks made it to the state playoffs three years in a row as captain of the speed knitting team.

“That boy could knit like greased lightning,” said retired speed-knitting Coach Gertrude Bracegirdle. “Once during a basketball game, a player got hung up in the net and ripped it down out of frustration. The referee got on the P.A. system and asked if there was a knitter in the house. All of a sudden the crowd parted like the Red Sea to reveal Bryan sitting at the top of the stands, as always with his knitting needles in tow.”

According to Lancelot Link school newspaper the Weekly Chagrin, Hanks initially didn’t heed the call to knit a new basketball net. Witnesses said Hanks’ knitting needles were bent as the result of him “being beaten up that afternoon by the manager of the chess club.”

After several minutes of pleading from the crowd and one threat of violence from the chess club manager, Hanks put his crooked needles to work, cranking out a new basketball net in just under three minutes.

“I hadn’t seen someone with bent needles crank out such beautiful work that quickly since William S. Burroughs wrote The Soft Machine on his lunch hour in 1960,” said Weekly Chagrin Publisher Richard Clark. “Later on I hired Hanks to knit sweaters for my kitties Leonardo DiCatrio, Cat Benetar, Catsy Cline, and Sheddy Vedder.”

During his tenure at Ralph Sampson Community College, Hanks joined the controversial Delta Zeta-Jones fraternity, widely believed to be nothing more than a money-laundering operation for the Bronies (adult males who are fans of the “My Little Pony” cartoon/merchandising franchise). In later years, Hanks confessed that he financed his “My Little Pony” addiction with money he earned as a door-to-door door salesman.

Avoid the box store blues with a visit to Blizzard Building Supply at 405 Walston Avenue, Kinston.

Although he turned 67 this week, friends and family alike concur that Hanks has the verve and vigor of an 80-year-old.

“He may get winded brushing his teeth, but his spirit is still strong,” said Bryan Hanks Show co-host Jonathan Massey. “As long as we remember to cut his food into really tiny pieces and put down plenty of plastic, we get through most meals without having to call the fire department.”

“Seven of us pooled 10 percent of our pay for six weeks,” said Bryan Hanks Show concierge Paulette Burroughs. “At the end of it all we had about $6 to work with, so we got him a new pill organizer. We gave him one a few years ago, but he only used it to alphabetize his M&Ms.”

Bannister’s Fine Gifts is located at 106 West Railroad Street in La Grange

Today, Bryan Hanks is known as the venerable host of radio juggernaut the Bryan Hanks Show, seven-time Golden Girls Reenactor of the Year, and as reported by the Buckesberry Gazzette recipient of the first successful talon transplant. He hung up the needles many moons ago, but his legacy remains.

“That basketball net he knitted is still in use,” said. Gertrude Bracegirdle. “They used it to clog up a hole mice were coming through in the concession stand.”

Happy Birthday, Bryan Hanks! Remember to put on your truss before you blow out your candles.

Jon Dawson’s books are available at

You can hear Jon Monday thru Friday on the Bryan Hanks Show:

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston, and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m. Archived shows are available at

2 thoughts on “Jon Dawson: Bryan Hanks turns 67

  1. Happy Birthday Bryan!
    Mr. Dawson I have missed reading your Take on this World.( your column) I need more of that in my life. Thanks! Many Blessings for continued humor.


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