My plate was abundantly filled having Welcome Wilson, Sr. as my guest on today’s “TELL YOUR STORY TO THE WORLD” global MJWJ radio show. His broad knowledge and variety of experiences in the military, business, government and academic worlds are so over whelming that I didn’t know where to begin. When I had asked Welcome a week before the show to send me his bio he responded by sharing an email which his daughter-in-law Cindi had compiled that was headlined; “One Hundred Things You Probably Never Knew About Welcome Wilson, Sr.”
It filled three pages of small type which made your eyes bulge in utter amazement as you read about his heritage (4th generation Texan) through his world changing involvement in making history.
After I made my opening introduction about how to HEAL THE WOUND between our Peace Officers and the civilian population, Welcome appropriately and wisely chose to talk about the civil strife during the 1960’s. He was able to recall that in the early 1960’s four students from Texas Southern University went into a downtown Woolworth to sit at the counter to order lunch. They waited. And waited. Were ignored. And, finally asked to leave. Unlike what happened during an earlier occurrence in Tennessee that caused up-heaval and riots, Houston’s Mayor quickly formed a committee of the leading business people which included Welcome to address the potential problem. Bob Dundas of Foley’s Department stores was appointed the head and they collectively decided that on a closeby date all Houston area stores serving sit-down counter lunches would simultaneously serve people with no exceptions based on skin color. Welcome had the responsibility to request every print and broadcast media to acknowledge this trend setting event quietly without creating any anxiety or fanfare in the general community. It worked! From that day on all the Houston area restaurants serving counter foods welcomed everyone no matter their skin color to come in and enjoy their meals in peace and comfort.
Welcome continued reminding us of the cold war when President Eisenhower would daily send 100 or more airplanes equipped with nuclear capability to fly to the Russian border demonstrating to them the threat they were under unless they changed their ways. The creation of fear worked! It was 1958 and Welcome was age 30. President Eisenhower awarded Welcome the Civilian Rank of 3-Star General. I was spellbound in admiration.
Welcome talked about a number of other national and international important events of which he was involved that changed America’s history for the better. What he is most passionate about and dedicated is his work and involvement in the University of Houston. The clock of time kept ticking and we both were equally disappointed that he wasn’t able to articulate his profound interest and involvement in education.
No one is more WELCOME to return to “TELL YOUR STORY TO THE WORLD” than my friend, whom I admire so much for his multiple accomplishments and contributions, in making this planet a better place for the collective good of all our citizens.
It was my honor to have him as my guest today…a true representative of the Greatest Generation for which all America remains grateful.