I had the honor and privilege to interview Mr. James White on two occasions. I’ve been very saddened about his passing. You can feel a deep mourning in the air. Many people are sad right now, and it’s healthy & natural to grieve, but it’s also important to celebrate such an illustrious, colorful & joyous life.
I remember one of his daughters making me fried okra from the kitchen, and they weren’t even open. It was early one morning in 2019. I interviewed her dad at table B2, where Willie Nelson and his wife used to eat..She offered me a few, and I took like three little pieces of okra, and I remember she reached out and gave me a big handful and said: I know you want more than that. The fried okra was delicious! I also remember Mr. White singing songs. And he gave me one of the original vinyl records produced from back in the Day of “Where There’s A Willie, There’s a Way.”
If you want to read the interviews, they’re on the web, and I’ll share them again later when it’s appropriate.
But what I remember most… I felt welcomed, and I will never forget that feeling. I’m a misfit like many artists. And I will always remember his kindness, nor will I ever forget his family’s hospitality.
I have to admit I’ve cried on quite a few occasions about his death and thinking of his family. When mi abuelita lost her husband of 64 years, another Army veteran as well, it took a long time for her heart to heal. My heart goes out to his wife and daughters, and everyone that was part of the Broken Spoke family. I cried when I saw the gold letters outside that said, Dad. But it also made me happy to see all the flowers!
Usually, when I interview people, it’s just a one-time occasion, and then I typically don’t see them again except maybe some emails here and there. I have conducted hundreds of interviews. But I considered Mr. White a friend. I always enjoyed going to the Spoke, and I will miss seeing him there on weekends in his cowboy hats wearing his bling-bling shirts.
If you’re in the vicinity, please go out and support the Broken Spoke and the White family. Grab a hot plate, a drink (alcohol or not) and relax to some genuine honky-tonk live music.