Glendale News-Press news assistant Ani Amirkhanian sat down with Williams at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center and asked him a few questions.
What made you change your mind about nursing?
I went to apply for a job at the hospital and I wanted to be a male nurse. But then when I saw the type of work they did, I didn't like it and I said, "I'm not for that." One of the supervisors told me, "Why don't you try food service? You may be good for it." I took classes and I really enjoyed it.
How do you become a good cook at a hospital?
I feel that if you want to be a good cook, you have to know the secret that makes the food taste right.
If you are working for patients, you have to go by the book. You have to learn to cook for special diets — no-salt diets, fat-free diets, regular diets — under the dietitian's supervision.
Do you have any fond memories of patients?
There was a couple there, they had a little baby and I asked them what their baby's name was and they said James Williams. Just like my name.
After years went by, one time I went to take care of some people. They said, "don't you remember us?" They said "you're the one who took care of us when we had our baby." His name was James Williams.
What was the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoyed doing my job very much and I knew at the same time it was a job to live with and at the same time I was helping people to get better. I always went to see patients in their rooms with a big smile and it made me feel better.
Why have you given up cooking?