As you may have heard, on November 2, 2017, we lost our good friend Tom White. A race with cancer he didn't win, claimed my friend and a judge for our events. Even though Tom also judged at El Camino, he always said Hanford was his favorite swap/show.
Tom was called an industry icon, but to me, he was another bike enthusiast, just a guy that shared the same passion that we all do.
Judging is a thankless task that most won't do, but Tom would grab the clip board and go to work. Some how when he told you your bike wasn't as perfect as you thought and you weren't wining a trophy that day, he still made you feel like a winner. He always joked that the event shirt he wore proudly, should have had a bull's eye on the back and I should have issued him, and the other judges a side arm for protection. It is no easy job telling a participant his bike wasn't good enough. He would happily share tips with you about what it would take to improve for the next show, so that next time you would claim your trophy.
A better family man didn't exist, his wife at his side at the shows. A friend to us all, one of the industry's greats, leaving a void that can't be filled. I'm a better man for knowing him, a loss that we all share, family or friend, the good Lord has taken the Best Color Commentator that's ever held a microphone.
Godspeed, you are missed. Thank You Tom for all that you have done for me, I'll miss you..........Marshall.
I was privileged to have ‘worked’ alongside Tom White at the two Classic Cycle Events shows for the last few years. As Classic Cycle’s “mouth on the microphone” I would do the quarterly announcements of welcome, thanks for coming and we have shirts for sale and food is available. But when it came time for trophies, there was no better “Color Man” than our own Tom White.
Tom was a judge and the announcer of the trophies as he had untold knowledge of the bikes we were fortunate enough to have in our shows. He never came across as a know it all, though sometimes I think he did know it all!! I am really going to miss being able to hand him the microphone for the trophy presentations.
I think back to the 2011 when I entered my trusty ol’ 1985 Suzuki SP600 in our event. I stood there with Tom as he judged my bike and said, “you know this isn’t concurs condition right?” I acknowledged it was not, but the hours spent cleaning it with my youngest daughter to simply show it off (as the original owner) was worth it. Tom understood that, as family is so important. Tom then said, “that’s not a stock chain. They didn’t have gold chains in 1985”, what doesn’t this guy know? He then went around the bike and said, “Boy I sold a ton of those Supertrapp exhausts in my life.” To which I replied, I bought it from White Bros back in the day…we both laughed and talked of stories of Baja with my bike.
I am truly going to miss Tom buzzing about Hanford fairgrounds, clipboard in hand, excited to judge the next bike and talk about them late with the owners, many of whom he knew so well also.
We all are better people for having been blessed with his presence. Godspeed Tom White.
Sincerely, from the heart, Craig Williams