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"Lets look at how Big Jim
knew life as a youngster"



July 18, 1942-Harrisburg, Pa: Little Ronnie Miller (age 1 year), Big Jim (age 2years, 5 months) both weighing 35 lbs.


Uncle Thorton and Big Jim at age 12


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James Talbot Williams was born on February 25, 1940 to the late Ernest M. and Sara G. Strader Williams in Scranton, Pa . He wa the youngest of five children. Jim spent his whole life in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His father Ernest was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. He married Jim's mother Sara, who was from nearby Chinchilla. Both had aunts who lived in the area. His grandmother's sister Alice Morton and his mother's aunt Arlene Strader were both members of Bethel A.M.E. church, which is where Ernest and Sara met. They would be married and later buried there. His mother passed in 1959, and his father in 1963.
During Jim's early years he sent most of his summers at his grandmother's sister's home in Bellefonte, Center County, Pennsylvania. If you take a map and put a pin thru the center you would be putting it thru Bellefonte. He would go mostly by bus with his four brothers: Ernest,Jr. (d.Feb.2006), Robert Edward Curtiss (d.June 1996), Clarence Homer (Mount Laurel, NJ), and Thorton (Castle Rock, CO). Jim married Patricia Walsh of South Scranton, and they had three children: James, Nathaniel, and Georgianna. In all Jim had six grandchildren.
Summers in Bellefonte could not be duplicated. You would really have to have been there to enjoy our summers. Schools in Scranton would let out for the summer on the nearest Friday to the 25th of June. The next day they would be on a bus heading for Bellefonte. His grandmother, who was working in New York, would come and take them to her sister's house. Back then Bellefonte would close down on Saturday afternoon and would not reopen until Monday. On Sunday you couldn't even buy a newspaper in town. They would have a meal fit for a king. His two aunts, Clara Fowler(and husband Charles who built their house on North Armour Street), and Alice, who had moved back to be with her sister. Neither aunt had any children, so by consequence Jim and his brothers became those children. There would be playing, swimming, and the favorite cooking. Jim's two aunts could take an apple from the tree and the only thing left would be the stem. They would make apple butter, ciders, pies, etc. What a time!

Here is Big Jim as a little guy swimming at Washington Avenue and Phelps Street in Scranton, Pa.

Scranton Technical High School Track in 1957


Young Jim with mother Sarah and father Ernest, Sr.


James and a friend on Myrtle Street in Scranton, Pa right down the street from the armory


Sitting is Marjorie Rice-Standing on porch from L to R-James Williams, his brother Ernest Williams, Jr., Betty Rice, and brother Thorton Williams standing on the sidewalk at Ernest Jr.'s 21st birthday July 27,1952. Big Jim was 12 in this photo



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