Invisible Heros

Roy H. Williams · January 04, 2016
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, whaling ship pequod

Howard Schultz agreed to serve on the board of a strange new Internet company because he was certain that by giving online shoppers an opportunity to experience the thrill of the chase, the odd little company, eBay, would succeed beyond all expectations. What Howard Schultz did not suspect is that his involvement would earn him more than 100 million dollars. But launching an online auction company was not the original dream of Howard Schultz. No, not by fathoms.

Years earlier, three […]

Roy H. Williams · December 28, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, Chuck Wepner

As a boxer, Chuck Wepner earned the nickname “The Bayonne Bleeder” because of the punishment he took even while winning. Tom Donelson of Inside Boxing writes of him,

“Wepner was what one would call ‘a catcher’, a fighter who often used his head to block the other guy’s punches – not the kind of strategy that leads to long careers… He constantly pressured his opponent until he either won or was knocked out. He never truly cared how many shots he would absorb […]

Roy H. Williams · December 21, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, Coyote

There’s not a lot you can learn from the Road Runner, but the Coyote knows the secret of wealth.

In September, 1949, the Coyote – Carnivorous vulgaris – built a catapult. But instead of launching him toward the Road Runner, it launched him straight up into a stone outcropping.

The Coyote crawled out of the hole and went back to work.

In December, 1955, the Coyote – Eatibus almost anythingus – waited anxiously for the Road Runner to come around a corner, then lit the fuse of a […]

Roy H. Williams · December 14, 2015
Pendulum In Action, invisible heroes, Merry Christmas

I’m a Merry Christmas person. Does that make me bad? “Happy Holidays” doesn’t carry quite the same exuberance for me as “Merry Christmas.” And I must shamefully confess that deep in my heart I still think of Navajos, Cherokees and Apaches as Indians. My publisher tells me there is no such place as the Orient anymore! So are the boundaries of Asia the same as they were back when I was in school? In those days Asia was everything east of Constantinople. I’m sorry. My bad. […]

Roy H. Williams · December 07, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, walk on water

Life is a journey on water. We spend our lives floating between the sunlit scenery of the conscious mind and the shadowy depths of the unconscious below. Dr. Richard D. Grant tells us our relationship to the unconscious is exactly our relationship to water.

1. We need it by the cupful to survive.
2. A plunge into it is refreshing. (Art speaks to the unconscious.)
3. Stay under too long and we’ll drown. (A psychotic break.)
4. There are monsters in the deep.

Drifters on the ocean […]

Roy H. Williams · November 30, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, business, Nemo Chapman

Nemo Chapman was a teenager devoted to the South De Kalb County YMCA, “a guy down on one knee helping out a little kid, or with kids just hanging around his neck, following him everywhere he went.” When Nemo was presented with the award for Outstanding Camp Counselor, the kids all leaped to their feet chanting, “Ne-mo, Ne-mo, Ne-mo!”

After graduating from high school, Nemo and his friend Mike McFarland spent the summer in Chicago where they performed a comedy act in churches and […]

Roy H. Williams · November 23, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet

My mother and I pack our few possessions into boxes we have found behind the grocery store, then drive to the house we’ve rented in the poorest part of town. I stack the boxes on the kitchen floor, then go in search of the sweet fragrance that hangs like mist in the still summer air. Stepping into the backyard, I see that honeysuckle vines wrap a chicken-wire fence in a thick carpet of green leaves and yellow flowers. I stare at the honeysuckle and smile into the sunlight.

Across the […]

Roy H. Williams · November 16, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, astronomer

Molly Welsh was an English peasant girl accused of stealing milk in the late 1600s. The punishment for milk-theft in those days was death. Fortunately for Molly and for America, her sentence was commuted to banishment to “the colonies.”

After serving 7 years as an indentured servant, Molly bought a small farm outside Baltimore and married an African slave named Banna Ka. In those days, the law dictated that if a child’s mother was a slave, then the child would be a slave. But if […]

Roy H. Williams · November 09, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, business

From the day that Susy was born until her thirteenth birthday, her father, Sam, wrote innocent and exhilarating adventure stories for children. Toward the end of Sam’s life, he wrote, “When Susy was thirteen… she secretly, and of her own notion, and out of love, added another task to her labors – the writing of a biography of me.”

In this biography of her father, thirteen year-old Susy tells the world, “We are a very happy family. We consist of Papa, Mamma, Jean, Clara and me. It […]

Roy H. Williams · November 02, 2015
Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, James Michener

“Is this William Lederer?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Hello, my name’s Roy Williams and I’d like to include the letter you wrote to Admiral David McDonald in a book I’ve written that’s about to go to press. May I have your permission to do that, sir?”

“Where you calling from, son?”

“Austin, Texas.”

“I was in Austin not long ago.”

“I wish I had known, sir. Maybe we could have gotten together.”

“I was there to bury a friend.”

“I’m sorry […]