I just spoke with Howard White's brother and he and his other brother need some time to think about what type of Memorial Service they want to do and when and where they want to do it. They will be in touch over the next few days and will let us know what they decide. It is most likely going to take place in the New England area since he did not travel to DC much and one of his brothers does live in Peterborough. They do not have a date at this time. I will let everyone know when I hear more. For now they are asking that people respect their privacy and give them time to do what they need to do.
He for sure was the grumpiest MF in the planet Earth, but a hell of a nice guy as well.
I remember one day, before he went to Barcelona-Spain in 2008. We both were seat watching skydivers landings and he said: HW: I would like to make a jump. Me: me too, do you want to make a jump? HW:yes, but I don't have anyone to jump with. Me: I'm here, don't I? HW: yes, but I don't speak Castillian and you speak broken English. Me:(I looked at him like wtf?) so...... HW: how the fuck are we gonna to communicate during free fall? Both of us started to laugh and finally did a jump.
After landing, he said: hey Ish, I will never ask anything to a fucking Spaniard, but due that you are an US citizen as well, and knows pretty well Spain, I have a few questions to ask you......but, if you tell anyone that I asked you those questions, I will deny it, so....just answer my questions and fuck off.
Howard would tell me to mind my own f*cking business, but as he can't...
Our friend, Howard White, has died at home. Howard was a frequent contributor to Parachutist, his recent series on jump aircraft will be a reference text for many years to come.
Many people knew him, and he'd choose to jump with some of them. If you were among his friends, you knew where you stood, even if he hadn't been on a load with you in years.
And as he was a jumper for many years, everyone has a story... I remember the time I managed to get to the DZ before him on New Years Day, and in taking his slot, broke his "First load of the New Year" streak. I think that was 1983, but he remembered it for years. Still, he encouraged me to keep broadening my horizons, (by jumping somewhere else), and kept saying he'd make a jump with me, some other time.
Blue skies, HW. Thanks for being you.
Hi JC and all, Read the news on the memorial page headline and .....don't know what to say. Like when my wife Peggy died,....'took me a couple of daze till I could muster up the words to come here and say something. 'Only met Howard once, at the old farts get togetrher at Raeford. 'Chatted about jumpin' a lot here on Dizzy.com and now he's gone from us. Shoz' to go ya', live life like every day is your last, ....because it might be??!! Fly on Howard, 'gonna miss ya' buddy!!
How do you say what everyone already knows? Howard was his own man, not swayed by what anyone else thought, or what everyone else was doing. This is my path, please don't get in the way. He quietly amassed an incredible wealth of knowledge, of the times, people and places of the sport. I can only hope he had it all written down. Blue skies Howard.
... I can only hope he had it all written down. Blue skies Howard.
Believe me, he did. I visited Howard's place once, in search of some old films we'd talked about restoring. It was nearly floor/ceiling with skydiving. If his collection could merely be cataloged, the NSM would need nothing more. His writings, magazines, manuals, photos....I can see a few years of sorting, cataloging, etc happening there.
Howard had a passionate affair with the history and progress of our sport. He was easily one of the older people to don a wingsuit for the first time, and he really enjoyed flying it.
Most have figured out that his gruff attitude was his way of showing love and keeping a safe distance. He spoke that way to US Senator Jake Garn, too, at the Pioneers of Sport Parachuting gathering in SLC, Utah a few years ago. His contributions to the sport will never be known by most.
I will forever cherish every memory I have of you. I have countless visions of you bitching and bitching about not being able to get on the next load because nobody would pack for you. I (or anyone) would pack for you in record time, so you could make that load and stop bitching. Of course, by then, you would be pissed off about something else and choose to leave! Or.... I would start packing your rig (just in case you wanted to jump) and you'd "kindly" tell me you were going home and not to bother. Okay, cool. I would move on to another rig or get myself geared up for the next load. Then you'd suddenly decide to get on the load and be pissed that you weren't packed. And you'd leave...
I'm gonna throw this out there....You could be a little fickle at times... a bit difficult and opinionated. Kinda persnickety. But you jumped more in the last few winters than most of us youngins jump all summer long. Your tolerance for bullshit and ignorance was very low...All because you seemed to care very deeply about this crazy skydiving thing we all partake in. At least that's what I think. If you were here, you might rag on me for being too sentimental. Fine. FU.
In all seriousness and with a heavy heart.... Thank you, Howard, for everything you put out there. You were always authentic. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know you... after already knowing you for a few years. Fly free Howard...... and pack yer own goddamn parachute.
Damn, I can't believe I'm just heard about this. I haven't seen Howard in years, but I remember him being a pretty cool guy to listen to.
One time back in 2006 I talked him into bringing out some very old army surplus gear he'd saved from jumping decades ago to let me try jumping it. At first he was all about it. The day before he was going to bring it to the DZ for me he shot me an email canceling because he'd decided the equipment was just too dangerous to jump anymore by modern standards. I bugged him about it a few more times and couldn't get him to change his mind, but he sure did get me all excited with some of the old stuff he's got. I hope some of it does make it to the museum.