“Kayla and Me”

In this reunion with BES friends, Fritz will reflect on his relationship with Kayla, his granddaughter who is serving a four-year sentence as an accomplice to a violent crime. She and her boyfriend became addicted to heroin, and she was waiting for him in their car (which they were living in, by the way) while he, armed with a pointed finger inside a jacket pocket, robbed a Turkey Hill convenience store. Fritz wrote a letter to the judge, but failed in his attempt to secure a more moderate sentence, and once a month now, he makes a 700-mile round trip to visit her at the women’s prison near Erie, PA, and every week he writes a letter to her – exactly 120 letters so far. What will come of it all is hard to say. Most drug addicts and alcoholics suffer relapses, and for heroin addicts, relapses are often deadly. But for Fritz and his granddaughter, his efforts to support and encourage her have produced an amazingly open and loving extended conversation between an 80-year-old man and a troubled young woman in her early 20s.

In his old age, Fritz Williams, Leader Emeritus of the Baltimore Ethical Society, is enjoying his fourth career. In the 1960s he worked as a parish priest at Episcopal Churches in Philadelphia and in Bucks County, PA. In the 1970s he wrote and produced documentaries and educational television programs at WITF-TV (PBS), Harrisburg, PA. In the 1980s, working for WTVS-TV, Detroit, he helped create and produce a media-based campaign aimed at calling attention to the needs of young people in that distressed metropolitan area. In the 1990s and the opening decade of the 21st century, he served two terms as leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society. Currently, he is attempting to share his deepest and most personal memories, ideas, and fantasies in writing – prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

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