Showsight - November 2017

HOUSTON AND TODDIE CLARK AKC JUDGES “As professional handlers, we knew Jim White as a fair as well as a very fun loving judge. He was always the go-to guy for funny stories and jokes. We, and everyone else, enjoyed the tales of his state trooper days. He also had funny false eyes and teeth and other hilarious gadgets. His adoration for his forever wife, Wanda, and family was his topic of choice. Jim remembered who we were because he awarded his first best in show assignment to one of the dogs we were handling—a Shih Tzu that was bred by Norm Patton. Unfortunately, that was this dog’s first show as well as the owner’s first show dog; needless to say, she became unbearable as she expected every show to be the same so it was a hard road to follow thereafter. A few years ago we were judging the first of a two-day show when Houston’s back unexpectedly went out and he was barely able to get around. That night Jim came to our room with all his medical supplies in order to enable Houston to get through the next day. It worked. Unbeknownst to us, Jim suffered with back troubles for several years and with Jim’s help Houston, thankfully, was able to judge the next day. We miss him!” JAN SWAYZE “This is a short little memory but dear to me. It was o’ dark thirty in some oppressive heat in Bowie, Maryland. I had driven until late in the evening; Whippets were early. I had dragged a somewhat disgruntled three-year-old with me to the ring. Hurrying along with her holding her blanket, a stuffed animal, some sort of thrown together food source for her and the dogs and the most untouchable dog of the group entered that day. I grabbed the numbers and enlisted the help of unsuspect- ing folks at the ring to hold dogs. The steward called the num- ber of Randy, the one who’s looking for dead people, Grahm’s little fist was holding the lead for dear life as she was stacking him outside the ring. I took the dog and asked her to hold April—her previous favorite. She bursted into a full throttle three-year-old scream at the gate to the ring, refusing to let go of Randy. Mr. JimWhite looks up from his book and stared directly at me and said, “What is wrong with this child?” I answer, “She won’t let go of the open dog,” while playing in my head is the possibilities of this scenario—none particularly good! “Put the armband on her,” he demands, “what about the table.” I am in a full-bore panic attack now; this dog is going to bite him I'm thinking! “I got it!” So in she walks for her first time. All went well, he instructed her in his Santa Claus voice and she performed every task with a beaming smile! Judge White hands out ribbons! She had no clue she had the yellow and was jumping and squealing with joy! He looks at me again, “Don’t you ever keep that child out of the ring.”

He told the story over the years with a twinkle in his eye a champion for the young. He tried to fool you with his sometimes grumpy-puss way but inside the kindness was unlimited. Jim White was a great man!”


Many years ago very early in my career as a dog show pho- tographer I was working a show somewhere in Alabama. A radio call came over the walkie-talkies that a photographer was need in a ring, so off I went. When I got there it was Jim White’s ring and this was my first time meeting him. An exhibitor was bringing in an Afghan to take a Best of Breed photo and Jim was trying to be patient as the exhibitor and their minions were furiously brushing the coat on the dog. Finally after quite some time they were ready to have the photo taken. I got everyone posed and took the photo. Jim White started laughing his larger-than-life laugh and told me I had to take that photo again. I questioned why and he pro- duced a black ribbon that said last place on it. We all had a good laugh about that and from that point on I always checked to see what ribbon he was holding in his hand! Several years ago at the Illinois Capitol Kennel Club show in Springfield, Illinois, Jim White was on the panel, I went over to welcome him that morning and give him a black rib- bon I had come across as a joke since he never forgot that time in Alabama. As I walked up to the table he turned towards me with this expression on his face in the attached photo! He was always quite the character and gentleman that I remem- ber when I met him that very first time!

pictured: Judge James R. White photo courtesy of Robert J. Skibinski

We at Showsight and friends in the sport send our love to Wanda and her family. For those who have been trying to find Wanda’s address: 105 Buena Vista Drive, Newport, NC 28570. WE WILL “ALWAYS REMEMBER” J IM!


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