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Ted Williams, his golden voice, and the cost of second chances.
Republished with author's permission by Michael Hayes http://PrestigiousProfits.com. Check out Article Marketing Robot -> http://www.PrestigiousProfits.com/amr
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Millions of people worldwide are now familiar with the first "feel good" story of the year. Here are the facts.
Ted Williams was one of a small army of panhandlers with a plum spot along a well-traveled Ohio highway.
You know the type, camouflage jacket, scruffy to a degree, odoriferous. All these folks carry handwritten signs with their message of special pleading, a message designed for maximum pathos and heart-rending effect.
Ted's said, in part, "God-given gift of a voice." Through a tip, the Columbus Dispatch paper heard about Williams and, on a slow news day, sent a reporter to hear this phenomenon say something, anything.
It didn't matter what. Finding Williams wasn't difficult. Like most homeless people, his habits were pretty consistent.
After all, there's no place like home, even if you're domiciled in a cardboard box under the interstate. Ted, an affable fellow, was glad to oblige.... and so he made like the radio announcer he used to be and did the "Coming up at 10 pm tonight...." kind of voice overs, where intonation is everything.
The effect was immediate, electric, the real mccoy, and thanks to the Columbus Dispatch and Utube it went viral, fast -- the bedraggled Williams and that oh-so-perfect voice. In the way of these things, stuff started to happen for the big-smile Williams right away. He immediately went on Ohio radio and the "Today" show.,(where he cried when discussing the mother he had neglected for so long.
He got job offers and expressions of initial interest from a host of companies and organizations including the Cleveland Cavaliers, the National Football League, the Oho Credit Union League, and ESPN, to name a fraction.
Kraft (the cheese people) didn't just offer... they paid him good American greenbacks to do a voice over that only increased his renown and appeal. There was even immediate speculation that Ted would be invited by the President of these United States to be his personal guest at the upcoming State of the Union Address.
There Ted would be mentioned by name so the president could launch a telling phrase in his honor and derive the satisfaction of benevolence.
Ted was eager, grateful, overwhelmed. In an instant the people of America had shed their grace on this man of the streets.
It was picture perfect... heart warming... a made for tv movie. A handsome down and outer who cleaned up well his golden voice generous America taking him to its bosom a soul redeemed kudos and self-satisfaction all round.
And all in a couple of news cycles. The reality, of course, was different... gritty, complicated, not quite so perfect but utterly predictable.
Ted Williams at 53 was a man with a past.... booze, drugs, women... and a host of people who had Something To Say about this man of charm and irresponsibility.
His 90 year old mother stepped forward and had her say-so. Her voice was resolute, too... she looked the camera squarely in the eye and said her piece. Ted had done well in the military, had a good job, a solid life and had thrown it all away, inexplicably on drugs. He was long gone and seldom called; when he did he wanted something. Always to take, never to give.
Each call fed her disgust. In this woman there was a true hint of steel and substance. Old, but not elderly... she had no qualms about saying what she had to say. It was clear she'd been thinking about Ted and all he did wrong for many, many years. Her focus was where it needed to be: not on that golden voice... but on the man who shucked off his responsibilities to find fulfillment in something his mother could never understand or approve.
Yes, there was steel in her voice, not just precise articulation and distinct diction. Then there was his ex-wife Patricia Kirtley.
Twenty three years ago he had deserted her and their 4 girls... and a 5th child he had with another woman.
Kirtley, in the best tradition of strong black women, weak black men, had brought them all up throughout difficult days and lonely nights... when this partially blind woman of poise, grace, and determination had decisions to make, problems to solve all without the man who should have been present, helping, understanding, comforting.
She says, mildly, the kids feel "some resentment" about a father in the area but so focused on his own needs that he was never there for any of them. If they only felt "some resentment" they were rare children indeed. Rage would have become them better. And had this long-gone father called Patricia and in that deep baritone now known to the world offered her and his life neglected children even some of his new found riches and promising future?
What do you think?
He had other fish to fry, places to go, people to meet, a golden future sustained by that golden voice.
Old hostages to fortune, ex-wives, ex-girl friends, children, mother. They were all part of the past... with no claim to his future.
Ted, after all, was the darling of the media... a likely guest of the President of the United States, a spokesman for that most American of meals, mac and cheese. He had a future in which there was no place for his past.
And so, today, while Ted's smile and famous voice circle the globe in story after story, picking up speed and viewers as it proceeds, Ted's mother and former wife (now with 16 grandchildren) will go about the business of their lives, keeping hope and family alive and together.
And they will do it, as they have done it, without Ted and his never-to-be forgotten voice.
About The Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books.
Republished with author's permission by Michael Hayes http://PrestigiousProfits.com.
Check out Article Marketing Robot -> http://www.PrestigiousProfits.com/amr
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