Christopher Lawson's Reviews > Singing to a Bulldog: Life Lessons a Fellow Janitor Taught Me: My Journey from Happy Days to Hollywood and Beyond

Singing to a Bulldog by Anson Williams
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it was amazing

√ "You Gonna Do Somethin' Great in Life"

You might think this is a book about Anson Williams, but it's not. Instead, SINGING TO A BULLDOG is about IDEAS, or "Life Lessons" as the author describes them. Sure, there are fun stories about the author's meeting with John Wayne, or Elvis, or even President Ronald Reagan. And the date with Sudan Ford, the president's daughter, are fun and endearing. Nevertheless, those events are just window dressing to what the author is trying to convey.

Anson Williams started his work life as a janitor--technically an "Assistant Janitor." He worked at Leonard's department store in Burbank, along side a much-older African-American, "Willie." When not working, they sat in "Dey talk room," where the alcoholic Willie gave young Anson words of adv ice.

Strangely enough, this black janitor provided more useful life lessons than Anson's own father, who made it clear that Anson was an impediment to his own dreams: "If it wasn't for you, I'd have my own art galley, wouldn't have to feed your stupid face." In contrast, Willie encouraged the young janitor's apprentice, and proclaimed, "You gonna do somethin' great in life. Just a feelin' I got."

Well, Anson Williams did go places--a lot of them. We know the author as "Potsie," but of course, his career has spanned a much broader set of roles than just "Happy Days." He started his own business, and went to direct many episodes of successful television shows. I was surprised to learn that Anson Williams is actually an accomplished singer, and has sang publicly numerous times, including singing the National Anthem at sports fields.

As a grown man, the author finally realized the value of the lessons that Willie had conveyed. "And it all became suddenly clear. I needed to pay Willie's wisdom forward so that everyone can have their talks in 'Dey Talk Room,' so that everyone has that chance."

And so, Anson Williams is now sharing these encouraging words from that old janitor, from decades ago, sitting in "Dey Talk" room: "That's the reason for this book, to inspire you to stop looking at your mountain and to start climbing it, just like Willie did for me."

SINGING TO A BULLDOG is a heartfelt, fun story. The lessons from that old black janitor are still relevant today: "You gonna do somethin' great in life. Just a feelin' I got."
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