Jim White, Jr. and his wife Marguerite White both knew several years ago that a formal recognition of Jim White was being planned and I believe that their realization of that upcoming event pleased them both very much.
I think that it would have been wonderful had both Mr. and Mrs. White lived to see this. I am positive that they would have been very grateful, as many other people are, that this honor was bestowed on Jim White by New Mexico citizen/supporters who carried it out. I count myself as one of those grateful to that group who made this sculpture honor for Jim White and his family a reality.
Whenever you visit a National Park Service area, you generally find that each park has pivotal people in its history. Certainly, Jim White is pivotal to the Carlsbad Caverns history. In addition, in my nearly two decades of working directly and indirectly with caverns visitors, my impression is that for many of the visitors I was around the name of Jim White was nearly synonymous with the name of Carlsbad Caverns.
For the White family "version" of Jim White's relationship with the National Park Service, see One Man's Dream by Ruth Caiar (Marguerite White's sister) and Jim White, Jr. (Pageant Press NY, 1957). I assume there are copies in the park library; I purchased my copy from Ebay several years ago.
Through the coming years may this sculpture honor James Larkin White and his family, promote interest in him and his legacy in the exciting history of Carlsbad Caverns, stimulate community pride in what he and others accomplished there from the early beginnings of making it accesible to general visitors, and make people aware what cave explorers and scientists and the National Park Service continue to accomplish today in this one of a kind cave in our backyard.
July 12, 2011