"I am originally from South Carolina. I came here by myself when I was 17. I have been living in D.C. about 53 years. I am 71 and the Lord has been good to me. I met my wife here and we had ten children. They all grown now and got their own places in D.C. and Maryland. They occasionally come in and check on me.
"I raised my kids all over this city: in Northeast, Northwest and Southeast. It was rough in D.C. when I first came here and then it got rougher with all the drugs. Now, things are getting a little better as the police are trying to get them drugs out of this town. When the police got out of their cars and started walking and riding bicycles about four years ago, that made a difference. Hopefully, we can get all of the crime out of here and make this a better place to live.
"I tried to keep my kids out of this by teaching them discipline and faith. I would sit down and talk with my kids about what was right and wrong. If they did wrong, I would take out the rod. That was back before all of this talk of child abuse. When they stopped people from whooping their children, that's when kids got wild. I was raised with discipline and I raised my kids the same way. If you don't try to keep your children straight, they are going to sassy out on you. They need to know who is the boss. When they grow up to raise their own children, they will thank you for it.
"I was raised in a Christian home. My father was a preacher. We come from a religious family and I raised my kids in a religious home. Things in this city got worse when they took prayer out of the schools. A lot of kids had parents who worked two jobs and didn't have the time to teach their children about the Lord's prayers. They should put prayer back in schools. The way I see it, you should always keep the Lord first and then everything else will fall in place. I just thank the Lord that I raised my kids before they put the child abuse laws in place and while you could still pray in schools. Now, they are all grown and have good jobs.
"The older I get, the stronger I believe. Some of the things that I have been through, I would not have made it without the Lord. I was in a car accident and the doctors gave up on me, but the Lord brought me through. Now, I spend my days enjoying Jesus and the space that he gave us to live in. When he calls me home to Heaven, I hope that I will hear him say, 'Well done, William. You have been a good and faithful servant.'
"That's about the best I can tell you."
William, left, is pictured with his wife, Connie.