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William Overstreet

Description: Musical introduction with William shown walking down the street.

Narrator: William "Billy" Overstreet served his country in two wars and has had several careers.  But it wasn't until his retirement that he was able to pursue his lifelong dream of writing and publishing a book.  Adult education helped make his dream a reality.

Description: William's interview takes place in a library. He is an elderly man with gray hair. He wears and tweed sportcoat and white shirt. He also wears large eyeglasses. A photo of him in his navy uniform is shown. He was a handsome young man with dark hair and dark eyes. He smiles when he talks about "starving to death about three times".

William: I was with the 100th division and I'm glad a got out of them.  But in my outfit, only seven people came back.  After I got out, I went to the University of Georgia and when the Korean deal started, I signed up to go in the Navy.  Finally got into the LA County after starving to death about three times and I got into LA County and it was with the Department of Animal Control.  I thought well, when I get in here, I'll get out of that and get into something a little better and I just loved it.  And so, I stayed with them for oh, it's about 18 years, I guess, and then I bought my military time back while I was there and so that gave me enough time to retire and get me a little money together. Why I retired, was I had a heart attack.  In fact, two before it was over.  And really, I thought I was gonna die.  I didn't even renew my real estate license 'cause I thought I was gone.

Description: William walks down a city street in front of the school. Exterior shot of Baldwin Park Community and Adult Education is shown.

William: And, I don't know, I came down here and started working out in the gym, and just got better and better then I found out about this school over here and started going to it. And I had this book and I wanted a little help with it and I got it here.

Description: John is also interviewed in the library. He is a young balding man with a dark beard wearing and dark shirt. He is also wearing eyeglasses. Photos of William sitting in front of a computer are shown.

John Kerr, Vice Principal: I think the neatest thing about Billy is that he came in with a definite goal.  He came in and he knew he was retired, he had a dream, he wanted to be a writer, and the question was how could we help him?  It was the writing, the spelling, and putting his book together was where he really needed the support. So, he was getting the technical skills, as far as using the technology, but it really came down to when Denise and I started talking to him, working on his writing skills. 

Description: Denise is a young woman dressed in a taupe business suit. She has blond hair.

Denise Tornatore, Teacher: Well, what was unique about Billy was that he had a dream and a goal, and when I met him a couple years back, he approached me at the senior center, and he was at the weight training class and he came out to speak to me.  And we spoke for about 15 or 20 minutes and he discussed that he had this desire to write a book.  And, his real concern was that he had the idea and he had the motivation, but he was very concerned with the idea that he couldn't really put it together, and he was concerned about spelling.

Description: William is pictured with his teacher. They are both smiling and teacher has his arm around William's shoulder.

William: I came over here and met these people and they just did it just right. It just worked out wonderful for me. The teacher there helped me quite a bit.  He would sit down; he and I would go together and we would read the book over and edit it, you know, more or less.

Description: Denise's interview continues in the library and she smiles when she mentions William's "very busy schedule". A photo is shown of William holding his published book, Sisters Weep No More. She speaks proudly of his book. Video shows William going to the library shelf and finding his book on the shelf.

Denise: I introduced him to a couple of the teachers because we have the program here in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening.  We let him know that it was an open program, that he could work it around his very busy schedule, and kind of left it at that.  And every so often, I would see him up here and he would wave and so forth and I'd ask him how is was doing and he was always very enthusiastic, saying he was getting that project done. By and behold, one day he entered my office with the book completed.  And I think what truly makes me feel really proud of him and good is that he had this dream and he was so intense and passionate about it and I believe through the team effort of everyone here, and all the classes helped him fulfill that dream.

Description: John's interview continues. Photo is shown of manuscript with William's Navy picture on the cover.

John Kerr: We did something that made a difference for this person.  We really helped someone who came from the Veteran generation, who put in his time in the military, didn't really have time to follow the dreams he wanted to follow, gave a lot to everybody in my generation, come out with some kind of a dream and you're there to help facilitate that.  You know, once you retire, you have to have a goal.  You have to look at some kind of dream you want to follow and Billy is just like a great example of that.

Description: Denise's interview concludes. Photos are shown of William shaking a politician's hand and speaking about it and holding a book for all to see. His Navy picture is on the back cover.

Denise: We are very proud of his accomplishments and we hope that other seniors will see this and hear about this and know that you're never too old to fulfill your dreams and to meet your goals.