Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts on Ted Williams : A Golden Voice

Many of you saw the YouTube video of Ted Williams and were captivated by his story as I was.  We saw him on the corner with a sign, asking for money.  Then he opened his mouth and … wow … what a voice.  I was glad for him.  Being discovered and getting work.  So when I saw his book at Barnes and Noble I knew I had to read it.  I went home and placed the book on hold with my local library.

The beginning of the book goes through his life fairly fast.  There are a number of difficulties but nothing insurmountable.  Very early on, he knew he wanted to be on radio with a large audience.  In young adulthood, he realized that dream.  He was on the air, he was meeting people, he was pulling in a nice income.  Then one night, he smoked a marijuana joint which someone had laced with crack cocaine.  He wanted more and quickly went downhill.  The short high was something he had to have it all the time.

In the majority of the book, Williams describes how he breaks hearts, becomes homeless, commits crimes, and steals, steals, steals.  Even after having children, he can not bring himself to mature and take responsibility.

I have to admit that I like a good biography.  I like to read how someone had determination to go somewhere, and little else, yet made it.  Stories like that inspire me as they give me hope.  After reading "A Golden Voice", I am not sure this was one of those books.

I have mixed feelings.  On one had, I am glad for him.  He was discovered (again) and given fame (again) and jobs (again).  I was naive to believe that was what he wanted.

See, it doesn't seem like that was what he wanted.  All he wanted was to smoke crack.  Numerous times in the book he is given help to get himself cleaned up and back on his feet.  But he can't stay with it.  He also is steeling all the time in order to find a dealer to get his puff.

It is difficult to not despise people like Williams.  He has six kids with several women and he gives very little support to any of them.  He is a thief, taking from businesses, friends, and family.  He refuses help offered to him.

In many ways, our cities are in the shape they are in because of people like Williams.  Businesses will not stay around because people take from them all the time.  Neighborhoods are run down because no one is doing any work to fix and clean them.  Families are in poverty because no one is supporting them.  Prostitutes are on the streets because their boyfriends push them out the door to make a few dollars to buy them drugs.

I hope this man is clean of drugs today, doing voice work, and making a contribution.  He has been given a gift that he needs to use.  I hope he uses his gift to benefit others.  I wish you well, Ted Williams, but it is a struggle to love you.

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