Friday, January 7, 2011

A Beacon of Light

I have often thought about lighthouses, not as often as I think about sneakers, but from time to time the concept of the light house is rolling around my Greek noggin.
It is that little beacon of bright light that keeps disaster from happening to ships and crews out in turbulent waters. In your life have you ever felt like you were in turbulent waters and thought to yourself how nice it would be to have seen a beacon of light from a light house to keep you safe and on track? I know I have. Well, hello, I am in the fickle entertainment business. I once read a quote, "This isn’t exactly a stable business. It’s like trying to stand up in a canoe with your pants down."– Cliff Robertson. Oh that Cliff, he was such a nut.
I imagine that is how Ted Williams must feel. I am not talking baseball Ted Williams, I am talking the Ted Williams who was homeless and who has captured the world's attention this past week with his incredible voice and even more incredible feel good story of triumph over adversity. I'm a sucker for a comeback story. That's why I like Rocky, remember?
For those who believe in God, or a higher power of their choice we do have that beacon. But for those people who have fallen onto hard times and away from their faith, or never had it to begin with, without that they are still seeking something to help them navigate the rough waters of their life. Most times they just keep crashing. Ted was just such a man.
Ted is an ex-radio announcer who had fallen on very hard times.  As he would panhandle for spare change from drivers he would use his amazing voice as a way of repaying the generosity of strangers. Williams said he was fired from a job and then had his fair share of struggles, with "alcohol and drugs and a few other things." He says he's two years clean now.
"I have a God given gift of voice. I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be gratefully appreciated. Thank you and God bless. Happy holidays," read Williams' roadside sign for help. That was then, this is now.
Like Williams, the radio industry has fallen on hard times in the past decade, but given the viral power of his video, (13 million views before YouTube took it down for copyright infringement)  Williams was quickly approached with all sorts of offers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers offered Williams a full-time job and a house. The Cavaliers will reportedly have to compete against MTV, the NFL and likely countless more suitors who have lined up for Williams' services.

I was certainly brought to tears when I first watched the viral video.  And once again I was brought to tears as I watched an interview with him getting choked up when he was discussing how an invitation to do a bunch of TV shows in New York has opened the door for him to visit his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn for the first time in 10 years. "One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she would live long enough to see me rebound," Williams said. "There's so many words. I've already been compared to Susan Boyle... I'm just so happy."
Truly there was a beacon of light out there for Ted Williams. It is just such a wonderful story. I hope he goes on to make a bajillion dollars, and someday I would love to hear his golden voice say, "and up next I have the newest hit single from that Greek blonde Girl and Grammy Award winning Platinum recording artist Ava Aston."

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