Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Ted Williams' feel good story...















I love writing my blog because the inspiration to write comes from every day experiences. I happened to be watching the Today Show on Thursday and caught the Ted Williams' story. Not the baseball legend "Ted Williams," but the homeless man with the "golden radio voice" Ted Williams. It really made my morning - tugged on my heartstrings. This gifted and endearing man's story made me tear up.

His story is truly a feel good moment. Doral Chenoweth a videographer for a Columbus, Ohio newspaper posted a video clip that he had taken of a homeless man. Williams who was panhandling that Monday morning with sign in hand that read, "I have a God given gift of voice. I am an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Thanks."  He was at the Hudson Street exit off of Interstate 71 in Columbus, Ohio. The videographer later posted it onto the Columbus Dispatch's newspaper website. Williams had offered to show his voice talent in exchange for a $1 donation. 

Then someone re posted it onto You Tube and within one day it had been viewed by millions of people around the world. Ted was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York and was named after his father's favorite baseball player at the time.

Ted said he had nine children: seven girls and two boys. He also served three years in the United States Army, and had been honorably discharged and after his stint in the Army had attended school for voice acting. His inspiration for a voice broadcasting career had come while on a field trip at age 14.  He was surprised to find that the radio announcer who he had heard looked nothing like he had imagined.

Williams also related that he had worked as a radio disc jockey on the overnight shift for WVKO (AM) in Columbus when the station played soul music.  Williams said that around 1993, he began to abuse cocaine, crack and alcohol. His abuse ended up bringing his career to an end eventually to his then-current state of homelessness. Although homeless he stated he had been clean and sober since mid-2008.

His story quickly garnered a large following on all the news broadcast and social websites, with many users pledging donations of money, clothes, and job offers. On Wednesday January 5th Williams was interviewed (clean shaven and with a new hair cut) onThe Early Show on CBS. He was also interviewed on The Today Show, yesterday morning and did the lead-in voice over. He revealed to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieria that he had already been approached by the Cleveland Cavaliers to be their sporting events announcer, and that he had been invited to an interview to do voice overs for Kraft Foods.

Funny thing was that he almost didn’t make it to New York City, for his January 5th appearance. While attempting to fly to New York to reunite with his 90-year old mother TSA refused to allow him to fly. He lacked a proper identification required to board an aircraft. Williams, fortunately through the intervention of both The Today Show  and The Early Show  was finally able to reunite with his mother the following day.

There are many Ted Williams in our lives. All needing a second chance. They say that there are very few absolutes in life. One that comes to mind is that everyone makes mistakes. I have seen good people show poor judgment, and do bad things. Quite often those bad things carry a heavy price tag but the reality is that - that one mistake doesn't make the person a bad person.

Don't get me wrong. If I do something bad than I deserve to face the consequences of my actions. Ted Williams is an addict and addiction is an illness. That he has been sober for two years under these extremely hard times is commendable! By his chance encounter, he has gotten a second chance. Now that is the power of forgiveness - on a universal scale.

I will continue to keep him in my prayers and hope that his testament gives everyone that has ever needed a second chance, or is still in need of one… the HOPE they need to keep on going.

Make it a great dia!