Does Ted Williams Deserve A Second Chance?

Ted Williams made the news this week-end — and no, not THAT Ted Williams. This Ted Williams is the homeless guy with the golden voice. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re probably one of the few that haven’t,

Admittedly, that’s pretty cool right? It is. That’s why this video has gone as viral as the black plague, got millions of plays, and Williams has received over 500 job offers — some of which are pretty cherry:

His “golden pipes” video got 13 million views in less than 48 hours, but was later removed from YouTube because the Columbus Dispatch, the newspaper that originally broke the story, owned the copyright to it.

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…”Golden Voice” has decided to accept the offers of two companies – Kraft Foods and The Cleveland Cavaliers. He has already recorded a commercial to air this weekend for the popular macaroni and cheese company and is looking forward to the house the Cavs offered him.

“Between the two of those I think I can juggle that and still get a meeting in every now and then,” Williams said as he looked over at his mother.

Williams vows to never return to the streets and be a better father to his nine children.

“I have finally become the dad they thought I would be,” he said.

Julia Williams leaves her son with one last piece of advice in his newfound success:

“Just get your life together, and don’t leave God out,” she said. “Get it together, forget about the old friends and the things you used to do with the old friends, leave it out there. Have a new life.”

Naturally, people are very excited. Here we have a homeless man “getting a second chance.”

But, the first question we should ask ourselves is, “Does he deserve it?”

After all, there’s plenty of voice talent out there that’s just as good as Williams and you know every one of them is probably saying, “Oh gee, if only I’d abandoned my family, become an addict, and let my life slide so far into the sewer that I ended up homeless, then my career could have really taken off!”

Of course, life isn’t fair like that. It’s not just having the talent; it’s catching people’s attention. Williams’ did it.

Now there’s something else that’s being glossed over here: Williams may be fudging a bit about how long he’s been clean and he may not be quite as good a guy as he appears to be at first glance. Not only has he abandoned a lot of kids, he sounds like he was in trouble not all that long ago,

Before becoming the country’s most distinctive new voice, Ted Williams compiled a lengthy rap sheet that landed him in several Ohio lockups on a variety of criminal charges, according to law enforcement records.

Williams, 53, has been busted for theft, robbery, escape, forgery, and drug possession.

…The convicted felon’s speedy rise to fame is not sitting well with one Columbus businessman who called cops on Williams and a female companion in early-July. The man, a manager at National Tire & Battery, told cops that Williams and the woman were “refusing to leave the business property” and had become an “ongoing problem” for the business, according to a police report.

While Williams begged customers for money, the woman “gets picked up and dropped off in the parking lot by various and numerous males in different vehicles. The management had repeatedly asked the two suspects to stay off the property and have been cussed and yelled at by the suspects for their effort.”

Cops warned Williams and his companion that they would be arrested if they returned to the property. The businessman, who only wanted to be identified as Dan, told TSG that Williams’s newfound notoriety had left him a “little aggravated.” The man said that he had seen Williams urinate in front of the business, and watched recently as he and his female friend stripped to their underwear as they changed into dry clothes during a rainstorm.

Dan added that his company shares a lot with a Lowe’s store, and he has seen Williams stealing items from cars parked by customers visiting the home improvement firm. “He’s basically been a thief for the past two years,” Dan said. The businessman added that last month he saw cops putting Williams in a squad car. However, the Columbus Division of Police had no record of Williams being collared in December.

Can you imagine walking to your car in this guy’s parking lot and hearing, “Hello, I’m Ted Williams and I’m peeing in this alley while my prostitute girlfriend steals things out of your car! Be careful or you’ll step in the urine of the man with the Golden Voice!”

So, does this guy really deserve a second chance?

Here’s how I look at it: God gives everybody special talents and they’re better off and the world is better off if they’re using them. If Ted Williams can take this opportunity, make some money, and pull his life back together, that would be good for him — and good for everybody else. After all, where is this guy doing more for the world? Earning a living or living on the streets? Moreover, he did mention that he has nine kids. If he can get his life back together, he can start to be daddy to those kids and maybe start to make their lives a little better, too. So, deserve it, not deserve it — I just hope he stays clean and makes the most of it.

All that being, to me, the greatest story here IS NOT Ted Williams’ story. It’s Patricia Kirtley’s story. Who’s Patricia Kirtley? She’s Ted Williams’ ex-wife.

Patricia Kirtley raised four daughters alone after Williams split 23 years ago and dove down the rabbit hole of drugs.

Not only that, Kirtley took in the baby boy the radioman had with another woman and raised him as her own.

Oh, and by the way, she’s partially blind.

…Kirtley had to go on the dole. “I still remember my case number,” she says ruefully. She eventually went to school and got licensed as a blind vendor.

“My mother and sisters pitched in and drove me because I can’t see to drive,” said Kirtley, now 58, over a din of some of her 16 grandchildren playing.

As if that weren’t enough, Kirtley said two of her sisters and a cousin each took in a child Williams and his druggie girlfriend couldn’t, or wouldn’t, care for.

“I didn’t want to see those children in no foster home,” she said.

We’re not talking about some welfare queen here, who shacked up with whoever happened to come around and got pregnant — she was married to Williams. Then, he fell apart and left her caring for 4 children. As if that wasn’t enough for a woman who’s partially blind, she took in a 5th kid.

That is tough, grinding, unenviable work…but, we don’t get excited about people like Patricia Kirtley in society. We don’t get excited about the cop or fireman who risks his life in the line of duty, the people who give hundreds of hours of their own time to help people out of the goodness of their hearts, or the parents who hang in there and do the right thing when it would be easier just to give up.

That’s boring, humdrum — not exciting, like a homeless guy who has an unusual talent. Now we’re back to “life’s not fair.” All I can say is that I hope some of the good fortune that’s smiling down on Williams now, ends up improving Kirtley’s life and the lives of all those children, too.

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