The Story of Williams:


The year was 1966 and the Baptist Student Union at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas was going to take about eighty students for a winter break sky trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were to stay at a Baptist Camp and ski at the BroadMoor.
   In order to participate I had discussed this with my Mother who pointed out that I had nothing to wear for the conditions of cold and wet. She took it upon herself to buy several nice new sweaters and some Scotch Guard ( a fairly new product at the time ) for my blue jeans. I was so excited at the time that I paid little attention to the cost which my Mother bore out of a severly depleated pocket book given the fact that my Father had passed away some two years before.
   The BroadMoor was the only ski slope that most of us Texas born neophytes had ever seen. It was a single slope about forty yards wide and staight down the hill. There was one chair lift which would let you off half way or all the way to the top.
   Williams was a student about my age. He was a little slow (as we say in the south). We all knew this and were kind to him. Williams didn't have any ski type clothes or gloves. I loaned him my Scotch Guard but I had no extra gloves. Williams used plastic bags and rubber bands around his wrists in order to keep out the wet snow.
   Williams was tall and thin, a veritable Icobad Crane. In those days down in the ski shop where we rented our skis, boots, and poles (at a group rate) each person received skis that were longer than each person was tall. For Williams this compounded his naturally uncordinated condition. Most of us found getting on the chair lift fairly simple and getting off a bit of a challenge. Although we all wished him well we all knew that for Williams there was always going to be a crash on exit from the chair lift.
   If this story is to be worth remembering it is because of what I learned that day.
   Williams knew that he would never be able to master the "snow plow" and that he had no way to control his speed and no way to stop. This is when the magic of the moment set in. Williams said to me, "You know I have no chance of getting down this hill standing up, so I am going to go straight down this hill as fast as I can and that way when I wipe out I will be most of the way down. That's the only way I am going to have any fun."
   The word got out. Everyone was to watch out for Williams and give way. It was so comical that we all had a great laugh. When Williams wiped out at his high speed it was like a Raggy Ann doll flipping end over end. It became the thing to do to stop and wait for Williams to do his thing before proceeding. No one wanted to miss the spectacle.
   Williams became our hero. We college boys were all too macho to take a good wipe out in front of the coeds. We were all too proud to look the fool. We were desparately trying to master the maneuvers and look cool.
   Williams had a very special message for all of us.
   If you know you have limitations, go ahead anyway and don't be concerned with what it looks like. Williams survived and you will too. Williams showed us that success has very little to do with style and a lot to do with substance.

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