Life is nothing like the teeth that Jonah White created so many years ago. It is made to be enjoyed and shared. That is exactly what he has done with his new book.
White, a multimillionaire who still lives on the property where his parents, the late John and Ella White, raised him on a primitive homestead with his three siblings, is the largest employer in Calhoun County. He has 20 to 25 full-time employees with full health insurance and benefits paid 100 percent by White. In the last several weeks during the build-up to Halloween, White's company shipped out from 300,000 to 500,000 units of Billy-Bob Teeth, vampire fangs and goofy teeth-embedded baby pacifiers that sell more outside the United States than within the United States.
But this is really the least important thing to White, he said he came to realize since 1994, when the whole Billy-Bob Teeth craze began unfolding.
"I'm a simple creature, like a caveman," White said. "Ninety percent of my book is seeing how a person wandered through life with a completely different thought process. Now, I disassociate myself with my surroundings, and ask myself, 'Am I happy and content with my surroundings, and will I remember this day?'"
Ironically, White found Billy-Bob Teeth in a football stadium, and not because White's actual teeth looked like the gnarly incisors after a tackle, but because his future best friend tried to endear some women with his own ugly [Billy-Bob] teeth.
Today, White has a Hong Kong factory, from where he has to maintain a facility in order to sell units to U.S. K-Marts, he explained; but he's still the No. 1 employer in Calhoun County. Since the company's inception, White has sold more than 15 million units of Billy-Bob Teeth and other related novelty products now, including Zombie Feet Sandals and hats with hair. He has produced and sold 225,000 units from Calhoun County. He sells to about 30,000 U.S. locations and about 25 countries.
Photo by Tony Crescibene