Ted Williams–A Family Man with 2 Years Clean
If you’ve watched morning television this week, surely you’ve heard about Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice from Columbus, Ohio, who has become a star. He once worked for a radio station but drank and then added cocaine to the mix. He said his downfall was turning to crack. “I started taking everything for granted,” he said, in way of explanation.
Eventually he ended up homeless. Williams would plant himself at the side a highway with a sign about his vocal gift. He was begging—plain and simple. A videographer from the Columbus Dispatch saw something in him recently. Here’s the video of Williams he posted on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6kI_u3ho_com, and here’s Ted Williams on the Today show: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40943737#40943737.
Williams has gotten job offers from all over the country– even from Hawaii, to do voiceovers, to announce, and to be the voice of a company. Someone has even offered him free housing. Several times he broke down on the air about his good fortune, and offered that he has worked with a psychologist about how to handle it. (Deep breathing, for one thing.) But you know what struck me? That, like everyone else who loses his or her way, there’s a family that has also affected by his addiction, and one that can now celebrate with him. Williams cried about how happy he is that his 90-year-old mother has lived long enough to see him come back. He couldn’t wait to see her. One show also featured his mother, who said “he came from a nice family.” When he mentioned his nine children and his grandchildren, you could see the pride on his face.
The YouTube video and the TV coverage he’s gotten may be the story of one man, but it also calls attention to two issues—homelessness and addiction. Many homeless people have lost their jobs and their homes because of drugs and alcohol. And as Ted has shown us, he’s part of a family. He’s someone’s child, and he has children himself. He’s a symbol for everyone — that there is a way back.