One of the people in the Order that had a profound impact on me was Harold Williams. For a guy from south Alabama to be suddenly thrust into a different world on the westside of Chicago, I was in culture shock. Harold saw what was going on and during the Summer Program in ’71 and on the Academy faculty that fall he helped me come to terms with what going on then and some other things I had struggled with for years.
That summer, Harold and the folks we were with would sit around and drink a lot of coffee and talk about anything other than the local church. We were both a minority of southerners in midst of folks from other places. We developed a little routine where we would get into a heated discussion and would really go at each other. As we got more louder and bolder, we would begin to “appear” act in a racist manner towards each other. Understand that that it was an act. As people would begin to back away with looks of horror, we would get up and go to the coffee pot, fill our cups and start talking and laughing about something totally different. We would repeat this when we would find ourselves with a different group of folks. All this is to say that a certain kind of healing took place – watching two southerners: an older black man a young white guy carrying on as we did. I miss Harold.
~~ David Walters