NEW YORK -- From homeless to famous in just a few days. And reunited with his mother.
Ted Williams, the man with the velvet voice, and his mom, Julia Williams, finally got to lay eyes on each other after a decade apart yesterday afternoon, and hug and hug, and cry. "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" Ted said as he approached her. It was all caught by "Early Show" cameras.
Both sat down with "Early Show" co-anchors Erica Hill and Chris Wragge today.
Ted said he "really can't" believe what's happened to him.
"It's just been crazy."
Seeing Ted again, Julia told Wragge and Hill, "seemed like it's all a dream. It's not true, it's all a dream."
"It was just so beautiful," she added, "like, 'Is this him? Are we together?"'
"I knew he would be overjoyed with all of this," Julia continued, "and I said, 'Is this the son, my little son, Prodigal Son has come back home."'
When he saw her again, "I just lost it," Ted said. "It finally got to that moment where the armpits started sweating, and she just sat there and was like, 'Hi!' Yeah, it was beautiful. It was a beautiful moment."
Ted was spotted by a reporter panhandling on the side of an interstate highway ramp in Columbus, Ohio. The reporter made a video of Williams that went viral on YouTube, attracting more than 13 million hits. Then, he appeared in an exclusive interview on "The Early Show" Wednesday, and has been swamped with job offers ever since. He told him mom he's already voiced commercials for Kraft Mac & Cheese. He'll be paid $10,000 for recording four ads.
But Ted's past is checkered, with drug and alcohol addictions he says he's now free of, as well as numerous arrests for alleged crimes including theft and forgery.
Ted and Julia both acknowledged that his sudden fame and good fortune would make it more challenging for him to stay free of drugs and alcohol. Ted expressed optimism his belief in God would get him through.
Julia said she is "very concerned, very concerned."
"Well," Ted remarked, "I guess that's rightfully said, because two years is not a great length of sobriety enough to say that I've got this mastered. It's one day at a time. But with all of this crazy adulation and all of this -- as a matter of fact, I was talking to a therapist, a psychologist, and I was telling her, I said, 'You know, I'm not bipolar and I've never taken any type of psychotropic medications, but being a recovering addict, I had to be careful of any -- because I wanted a nerve pill yesterday, to be perfectly honest with you. And she said, 'Listen, you need to learn to meditate and not medicate."
Of all the job offers coming his way, Ted said he's seriously considering one from the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, whom he "adores."
Ted also said he wishes he and Julia could live closer to one another. "If I could fly her back (from) New York, relocate her so that we could go out to pasture together, I would love to do that. But my mother has linked herself to New York -- I can't even pry her away from her abode in Brooklyn."
To see the full interview, click below:
To watch the emotional mother-and-child reunion, click on the video below:
Doral Chenoweth, the Columbus Dispatch reporter who discovered Ted Williams on the side of the road in Ohio, spoke with Wragge and Hill today:
More "Early Show" videos, of our interviews of Julia yesterday and Ted on Wednesday: