ONE LIFE--MALE (A Tale of Sunshine and Shadow)


This book is dedicated to my grandchildren, seven boys and seven girls

copyright 1977 by John F. Williams - All Rights Reserved

Printed in the United States of America

This Edition December 18, 2007, by his son, Robert Bruce Williams, includes family photos. I have also added some brief sub-chapter descriptions to help orient the readers.


John F. Williams

In writing this account of his life story, the writer has tried to be factual to the best of his recollection. Some members of the family (tribe) may resent disclosures which show faults in a few now living or who have passed on. So be it. The spotlight has been turn on. It is not intended to focus on any individual, family religious, or political group. The writer also is not without faults; but others can best describe them. You have heard it said, “If you cannot say something good about someone—don't say anything.” This is a good rule in polite social conversation. The rule does not apply to history. In January 1793 Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Here is a story of good and evil.

J.F.W. Pacific Beach, California 1976

Chapter 1: IN THE BEGINNING In which he: has early childhood memories (1894-1899) in Charlotte

Chapter 2: YOUTH-BELMONT In which he: attends primary catholic school; attends Belmont boarding catholic School; told to get a job at 15; saves money for college

Chapter 3: COLLEGE-RALEIGH In which he: experiences college life at N.C. State; is called 'chemistry' Williams by his friends

Chapter 4: MILITARY SERVICE-CAMP SEVIER, SOUTH CAROLINA In which he: joins National Guard and training,1916-1917; is sent to Mexican boarder; fights in the Great War 1918; is presented the British Military Cross by King George V in Buckingham palace; the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) from the U.S.; and the Belgium Military Cross.

Chapter 5: AFTER WWI-FORT DIX In which: his proposal for marriage to sweetheart Helen is refused; he secured a chemists' job in industry in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Chapter 6: MARRIAGE-CANANDAIGUA In which he: experiences a frustrating courtship and marriage to Doris Jenkins

Chapter 7: GOVERNMENT-PROHIBITION In which: his three children,  Ray, Jack and Don are born (1920-23), has a problematic marriage;  secures U.S. civil service position as chemist; he divorces; becomes director of Buffalo lab; marries Virginia Pomeroy

Chapter 8: 1933-BUFFALO In which: the Buffalo lab closed; he moves to NYC; he Oversees liquor in NYC

Chapter 9: 1934--NEW YORK In which: he leaves civil service; takes a job at a brandy distillery; the distillery goes bankrupt; he gets again a civil service job with U.S. Customs in Washington; son Norman Pomeroy is born; he deals with race track betting and the marijuana law

Chapter 10: U.S. CUSTOMS-WASHINGTON In which: he became Chief, Division of Laboratories, U.S. Customs; moved to 8911 Flower Ave in 1936; his 5th child is born, Robert Bruce Williams April 30, 1938

Chapter 11: W.W.II AUSTIN-MOBILE In which he:  is called to active duty, army air corps in February, 1942; Fort Mead, Md.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Commander, 915 Battalion Air Camp Swift, Austin, Tx.; parades in jeep with Lyndon B. Johnson; Camp Sevier, New Hampshire; Dover, De.; Long Island, NY; Mobile, Al. ; back to U.S. Customs service