Homeless Man Has Golden Voice

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Old-fashioned microphone
Image: LuckyLouie, Wikimedia Commons

The man has a voice of velvet: deep, rich and resonant.

It’s a voice many radio announcers would love to have. A beautiful voice.

His name is Ted Williams. He is 53 years old, and he is homeless. He begs for money at the side of the highway in a town in Ohio.

But that is about to change for the better.

A journalist from the Columbus Dispatch newspaper was driving along the highway when he stopped in front of Williams. He read his sign: “I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times.” He went to give Williams some money, and he started doing a radio announcement. Williams’s gorgeous voice floored the journalist, who came back with his camera and videotaped him.

He put the video on his newspaper’s website, and things took off. More than 4 million people clicked in to see the homeless man with the golden voice.

He has now received some job offers, including one with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, and it’s hoped that he will soon be able to move out of the tent he’s been living in.

UPDATE (Jan. 14/2011): Things are changing rapidly in Mr. Williams’s life as his story goes viral. He’s been on the Dr. Phil show, admitting to a problem with alcohol and subsequently entering a rehab facility. He has also been offered several jobs and there are hopes he will turn his life around.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Williams was very lucky because the journalist stopped to help him.  Many times people walk by and ignore homeless people who are asking for money.  How do you think a homeless person might feel when he is treated in this way?  Why do you think people often ignore homeless people?

Reading Prompt
On his sign, Ted Williams wrote that he has “fallen on hard times.”  What do you think this means?  Use ideas from the text and your own imagination to answer the question.

Primary
make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence (OME, Reading: 1.5)

Junior
develop interpretations about texts using stated and implied ideas to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5)

Grammar Feature: Commas in a List
Commas are used to separate items in a list.  This is used in the article in the following sentence: The man has a voice of velvet: deep, rich and resonant.”

Put commas in the sentences below to separate items in a list.
1. I went to the grocery store and I bought apples bananas cabbage and a cucumber.
2. My favourite sports are soccer basketball baseball and swimming.
3. After school I like to watch TV phone my friends and play outside.
4. When I get a job I would like to be a dentist writer artist or Olympic swimmer.