Up from the Projects: An Autobiography by Walter E. Williams

By Walter E. Williams

Nationally syndicated columnist and prolific writer Walter E. Williams remembers the various highlights and turning issues of his existence. From his reduce center category beginnings in a combined yet predominantly black local in West Philadelphia to his division chair at George Mason collage, Williams tells an "only in the USA" tale of a lifetime of fulfillment.

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Also, partly because of the press of so many other commitments, I decided not to take the time. What prompts me now is a combination of factors, not the least of which was the urging by my now-deceased wife of48 years, Connie, and our daughter, Devyn. In her loving and polite way, Devyn advised that if an autobiography were in my plans at all, it should be written now lest it end up as a work of fiction. That's a nice way to communicate to one's father that at age 74, one's memory is not what it used to be and that prospects for improvement are not in the cards.

Mom argued that Hamilton was within our school district and insisted that we be enrolled there. She knew we were eligible to attend Hamilton, because its students included the daughter and son of a Jewish merchant, whose business and upstairs living quarters were located just around the corner from us, at 56th and Market Streets. Mom was a forceful yet dignified woman who didn't easily take no for an answer. I don't know what she said or threatened, but that fall we attended Hamilton, I in the first grade and my sister in kindergarten.

I recall that period as one of considerable confusion about the rest of my life. I wanted to be back in Los Angeles attending college full time and back with Sammy. Part of that confusion painfully ended when Sammy sent me an envelope containing the friendship ring that I gave her. Heartbroken, I telephoned her to ask for an explanation. She told me that she thought I was a nice young man with my whole life ahead of me and that I should find someone my own age. ) Remarkably, there had been no intimacy in our relationship other than passionate kissing and necking.

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