Last week Brookville lost a friend. Tom White, known affectionately as “Wizard White” died.
Tom was an icon among the local sports community. He was the typical “little guy” who was never big enough to play on a varsity team. Instead he played in the band in high school. But his love of sports was evident to anyone who knew him.
In the local sports world, Tom White was a big man. He was a big booster of the old Teener League, the local Little League, the NWPIBT, the old Softball League, the YMCA and others. He was proud to have been a prime mover in the erection of the press box at McKinley Field, a feature many sportswriters, (including myself) came to appreciate.
He was the sports department at the old Brookville American and the Jeffersonian Democrat through much of the 1960s and 1970s. He also worked for the Punxsutawney Spirit and the Courier-Express at different points.
Tom returned to his roots in 2005 and wrote his “Tom White Remembers” column. His unique view of the town in the late 1950s and 1960s provided a trip down memory lane for many his contemporaries. Tom finally retired when his health issues became too severe.
Tom White made his living with words and he was very good with them. I could have eulogized Tom but I thought there would be no better tribute than to allow Tom White to talk to you one last time.
Here is Tom’s column from Nov. 18, 2004
By Tom White
A Weary Wordsmith
I have been a wordsmith for over 40 years and during that time I have formed many opinions and developed a cautious, yet hopeful, attitude.
I have learned many things about people. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Looking back at my experiences, here are some things I think I think plus a few things I know.
I consider myself most fortunate for having been born and raised in Brookville and living in this wonderful community all of my life.
Learn to accept criticism. Beware of too much praise.
No one is a victim. You rise above the negatives and cling dearly to the positives.
There a few secrets in a small town.
A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.
Many times just knowing the questions is far more important than knowing the answers.
There is no stronger love on this earth than the love of your mother.
If a game is worth playing it’s worth winning.
I love digital cameras. No longer do I worry about having no film.
Gone are the days when you could park your car on Main Street and it was safe to leave the keys in the ignition.
I miss Forbes Field.
I wish they still put vent windows in cars.
I miss the Northwestern Pennsylvania Independent Basketball Tournament.
It’s okay to cry when you feel sad and laugh when you feel good.
When an old-timer dies it’s like an entire library burning down.
I miss all the old stores which used to be on Main Street.
Do you remember when the stores stayed open until 9 p.m. on Fridays?
Do you recall back in the 50s, Saturday night was the busy night downtown?
Well, this wordsmith has “run out” of words for this week. Talk with you again next week.