Like most of America I’ve followed Ted Williams’ story with great interest. In case you’re one of the few dozen people who don’t know who I’m talking about, here’s the story in a nutshell. Ted Williams is a very talented vocal artist who spent years on the streets due to substance abuse. Not long ago someone with a camera caught him on tape panhandling. His sign said he had a voice that was a gift from God. The person asked him to say something. He did, and it was beautiful. The video was posted on YouTube and went viral. Mr. Williams was plucked from homelessness, presented with several offers, and thrust into the limelight.
I have, frankly, been concerned for Mr. Williams. He said he had been clean and sober for two years. That’s not very long when you’re dealing with the stress of sudden celebrity. Of course, as soon as people started praising this man others felt a need to (1) accuse him of faking the whole homeless story and (2) dig up his arrest record. Well, that first accusation went out the window pretty quickly. As for the second, most homeless drug addicts probably have a similar record—petty theft and drug arrests. Add a bit more pressure for the sudden microscope he found himself under.
Though it saddened me, it certainly didn’t surprise me to hear that he has fallen off the wagon. I am thrilled, however, that he’s entering rehab. It looks like he’s got lots of support this time. I wish him only the best.