Dedicated To Michael  My Son
The Greatest Man I Ever Knew
I Can't Stop Loving You

  "Lord and I stay blue all the time. Yeah but that's all right, I will overcome some day."
                                          ...Big Bill Broonzy

Two softball teams were battling for a  trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament.  Western Oregon's  diminutive senior, Sara Tucholsky, hit her first ever home run.   There were 2 runners on.  The 5'2" player missed First and tore knee ligaments turning to return and touch the bag.  She collapsed and couldn't make it back to the bag.  The rules are simple.  If her coaches or teammates tried to help, she would be called out.  The umpire said a pinch runner could replace her but the hit would be just a single, not the home run she had hit. 

Here's where it becomes a story of character.  Central Washington's Liz Wallace and Mallory Holtman picked up their opponent and carefully walked her around the bases, pausing so she could touch each base!  That run eventually helped decide the game.  Such fears didn't deter the Central Washington players.  They did what they believed was the right thing. 

The name of the winner of that game will be forgotten.  What will be remembered will be two young women bending to lift a fallen opponent and looking as tall as any athletes ever looked.  Character counts.

Reflections On Life In Western Florida
And Sometimes Places And Times Far Beyond

Past, Present And Future

2018-2019 Pages & Photos
2015 Photos

I'm not sure I'll be able to continue to add photos of sporting events to this site.  It's been a pleasure to get to know and appreciate the coaches, players, parents and fans who make the University of West Florida the first class organization it is.  Character still counts and Dave Scott is responsible for an athletic program that combines high character people with championship performance.  The record speaks for itself. No school does it better.  I continue to enjoy being associated with the UWF Athletic Communications Department. I've said this before but it's still true. Director  Brian Henry and assistant director Murphey Powell conitnue to provide Division I quality communications within a Division II budget.  

At present, physical limitations have made it impossible to photograph events that involve difficult access to certain venues.  I'm presently dealing with  Parkinson's Disease and now I've had to begin fighting cancer again for the third time in ten years.  I hope to combine physical activity with chemotherapy and radiation to deal with both diseases.

Email Bill Stockland 

  9-5-19 Match  
9-6-19 Match
9-7-19 Match
9-27-19 MATCH
9-28-19 MATCH

Artist and Spiritual Guide
Jerry Garcia in New York 1992


Glenna & Bill in the Bay Area

My three favorite places in the world are:  Machu Pichu,  San Francisco and anywhere Glenna is.


The Pelicans have been replaced by the Wahoos.
It is the Vietnam Wall...I couldn't correct the spelling.
UWF has added an NCAA football team.


OH GEORGIA   From Sun Prairie Wisconsin To The World...This is a colorful tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe.

AT THE HEART OF IMMIGRATION   Another way to look at immigration

A look at America's favorite game!

The sight and sound of freedom

Two hundred years

ESCAMBIA UNIVERSITY  There are many fine educational institutions in the Florida Panhandle.  Unfortunately this isn't one of them.  You can't spell Escambia without scam.

This is a study of the natural features in one suburban yard.

ARCHAEOLOGY 101  Time is running out to solve the mysteries of prehistory.

BACKPACKING 101 This is a guide to hiking and backpacking.

Gay or Straight

Young Love

There is a larger campus.
THE JOY OF WOODWORKING  My life as a carpenter and custom furniture maker.

Some of my first (and lasting) impressions of Pensacola

The Pensacola area is a wonderful place for bird watchers.

All scripture is inspired if it works.

In Political Science we learned about the Gerrymander—a creature that eats democratic principles.

The name Florida can be translated "Land Of Flowers."  These photos were made in Pensacola.

Chip Hilton is the only thing Bobby Knight and I ever agreed on.

Some activities just don't come up to par.

Sears was more than just a store...it was a cultural influence.

This area has a fabulous zoo.

Picturesque Pensacola

Part of a beautiful campus

The sea is in Pensacola's blood.

Dear me...I had a  brief encounter

So you want to be a photographer?

How you can lose an election while getting 71% of the votes,

Surely I didn't imagine all of this.

Yancy Spencer—a surfing legend
Pensacola's Surfing Community

The streams of the mountains please me more than the sea.

Freedom is a process, not an event.

The greatest band in history!

Our picturesque town.

Things are looking up.

Dada is in the eye of the beholder.

Great Smoky Mountains
One of our most popular parks!


Buddha held up a flower in a wordless sermon that was understood only by his smiling disciple Mahakasyapa.

“There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.”
 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. 
                                                                    ...Eleanor Roosevelt, (and others)

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
                                  ... Buddha
"...rest in reason and move in passion."
                                                         ...Kahlil Gibran,  the World
"I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near
to me—so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down."
                                                                                   ...Georgia O'Keeffe,  Sun Prairie Wisconsin

"Da Patchy is not what  Patchy was,
Da Patchy is as Patchy does."
                                                                          ...Patricia "Patchy" Brown,  Los Angeles

"What, me worry?"
                                                                         ...Alfred E. Neuman, beloved philosopher

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”
                                      ...Confucius,  China

"The situation is the boss."
                                         ...The Grateful Dead

"Hang in there Bro, it's always early."
                                        ...Raymond Mungo
                                                        Rebel, Author, Counselor

"I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend
a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth,"
                                     ...Bill Bryson
                                                         A Walk In The Woods

"Mama Mama, many worlds I've come since I first left home."
                                                                  ...Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia

"When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to lose..."
                                    ...Bob Dylan

  "Lord and I stay blue all the time. Yeah but
that's all right, I will overcome some day."
                                          ...Big Bill Broonzy

"This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people, but it's got no soul
And it's taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything"
                                       ...Jerry Rafferty

"Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices calling"
                                        ...David Crosby

"And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory"
                                    ...John Denver

“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what
you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.”

                                       ...Jack Kerouac
"But now old friends they're acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day."
...Joni Mitchell

"Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it's all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it's all right, everyday is judgment day"
                                                          ...The Traveling Wilburys

"Take me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can't feel to grip
And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'"
                                   ...Bob Dylan

One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line
Awaitin' for the train that goes home, sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time
                                              ...Brewer & Shipley
There is a great story associated with this song and its drug references.  Lawrence Welk was a kindly man who had a very
"whitebread" music program  on TV. In the 60s and 70s.  He thought this was a "spiritual"  song and he had his lead singers perform it. It was introduced with Gospel references. Somehow no one on his staff, including the two young squeaky clean singers who performed it, had a clue as to what "one toke over the line" was about.  VP Spiro Agnew labeled the song as subversive and the FCC actually banned it from broadcast.  Remember, this was an age where the director of the FBI assigned agents to study the largely incoherent lyrics in the song  Louie-Louie for obscenity.  Can you imagine the scene when someone explained the toke references to Mr. Welk?

"Be careful out there among them English."
                                    ...Amish man in Witness

"There's a crack in everything—that's how the light comes in."
                          ...Leonard Cohen

“I got in trouble my whole life for having a big mouth.”
                         ...Steven Tyler

"Want to hear God laugh?  Tell him you have plans."
                        ...Noah Brown

“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to
 earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic
success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.”

                     ...Ram Dass


These guys are cute.  The Beatles sang the exploits of Rocky Raccoon and  Marvel Comics had a character named Rocket Raccoon.  We were recently blessed with a related house guest.  So how do you tell if a raccoon has been in your attic?  Easy, she's still there. We don't think this one had rabies but it can happen.  Rather, she was looking for a safe place to have babies. 

We had a professional remove her.  Actually, he deposited what he called "Raccoon Eviction Cream" which she believed was evidence that male raccoons (who eat babies) were also present and a threat to her young ones.  She escaped quickly.  This is a non commercial web site so I won't place an ad for the company that responded quickly and in a humane fashion.  If you have a similar invasion email me and I'll be glad to tell you about the company.


(The raccoon photos are from previous encounters I had with raccoons.  The damage was done recently.)

Sometimes heroes make just a brief flash before our eyes.  Chuck Harmon was a hero to a nine year old boy in 1955.    I was attending my first ever Major League baseball game at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. We had recently relocated from Chicago to an enclave of German Americans. Harmon had recently been signed to a contract.  He became the first black player on the Redlegs.  The name was briefly changed from "Reds" to "Redlegs" because local civic fathers were concerned about the "Red Menace" as Soviet, Chinese and North Korean entities were called in an era that would feature bomb raid drills and accusations of treason against anyone labeled as being "Red."  The Korean War was still smoldering.  The Iron Curtain was a reality.

At the time I didn't know that great athletes such as Harmon (who was also a championship level basketball player) and Jackie Robinson (A four sport letter winner in college) had been forbidden to play in the Majors because of their race.  White nine year old baseball fans hadn't heard about the Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs, Pittsburgh Crawfords and other Negro League teams that were staffed by  great athletes like Willie Mays, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige.   Even the city in which we lived had varioius Negro League teams we were never told about.  Military service and prejudice kept many players from joining Major League sports until they were older.  Brooklyn Dodger  (soon to be LA Dodger) owner Branch Rickey signed super athlete Jackie Robinson to a professional contract in 1947.  I don't know if he was trying to right a serious wrong or simply trying to get a leg up on his competition.  Maybe it was both.  An ever declining few have missed the irrefutable truth you build a great culture and great economy the same way you win a championship or a war.  You assemble the best and the brightest and get prejudice and other limitations out of their way.   The lesson from the American sports scene could not be more obvious.  Winners LOOK like all of America.

It was the summer of 1955.  The St. Louis Cardinals and the Redlegs were battling into the 9th inning.  St. Louis was ahead by one run when the Redlegs tied the score.  Then chaos broke out.  The two managers got into an argument between the mound and home.  Cincinnati manager Birdie Tebbetts lunged at St. Louis manager Harry "The Hat" Walker.  A bench clearing fight ensued and nine year old boys in the stands decided they wanted to be crazy baseball players too.  We were  hooked for life.  When order was restored Chuck Harmon was sent in as a pinch runner to 2nd base.  A ground ball through the infield sent Harmon flying around third base.  He ran so fast he had to take an unbelievably wide turn but he beat the throw to score the winning run.  Thanks Mr. Harmon.

In 2019 we received the sad news that boxing great Pernell Whitaker has passed.  I have been fortunate to have met three of the four greatest boxers of all time. 
As an 11 year old I met Rocky Marciano while he was on a promotional tour after retirement.  Later, as an adult I met Aaron Pryor "The Hawk."  He was friendly
and all so talented!  Sadly, Marciano and Pryor both preceded Whitaker in death  shortly after we lost Muhammad Ali. I never met Ali or Pernell Whitaker but like
many people around here, I had the honor of meeting arguably the greatest fighter of them all, Roy Jones Jr.  I took this photo at a softball charity  event at UWF.

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky...
                                                          John Masefield

"From the park you hear the happy sound of the carousel
You can almost taste the hot dogs and french fries they sell, yes you can
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be."
                                   The Drifters

"If everybody had an ocean
Across the U. S. A.
Then everybody'd be surfin'
Like Californi-a"

                       The Beach Boys

An osprey enjoying sushi at Fort Pickens

"If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air"
The singing rage, Miss Patti Page

All Photos Copyright ©
Bill Stockland All Rights Reserved

Find more about Weather in Pensacola, FL
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Email Bill Stockland 

Editor's Note:  We often repeat photos from different parts of the site.  All photos are taken by me.

As kids we would stretch out on our backs and imagine the different objects the clouds formed in the sky.  If you're lucky you haven't stopped just because you're no longer chronologically a kid.  It's still all the magic of reality and illusion. Being in Florida, we're probably just a little more careful about where we stretch out.

This exact wispy configuration, like all clouds, will never be seen again except as how the viewer interprets what the camera saw  for that instant one afternoon in August.   Looking now I see a bay or lagoon…maybe a sound with another island, maybe a barrier island.  I see an animal about to leap.  I see loosened glaciers calving.  I didn't see any of this when I first made the photo.  It's that magic again.

Is it possible to have a mentor you've never met? I believe you can, The current hint of winter times coming made me recall living in a northern climate when I heard of the passing of a friend I'd never met.  I was busy with graduate school plans, a teaching job and best of all the joys of a new baby daughter.  Over the years this great man has become even more dear to me.  I have mentioned him before in this page.  I have often said that had I not met the special love of my life I would today be in either a Buddhist or Trappist monastery.  My inspiration from Father Merton makes the difference between those two monasteries less than it first appears.  I humbly urge you to research and study the spiritual direction and inspiration he left with us.   Please click below to see more about this great man.

Father Merton's little cabin where he once lived as a hermit
before being inspired to experience a more public presence.


What do you get if you multiply 111,111,111 (One hundred eleven million, one hundred eleven thousand, one hundred eleven) by the same number, 111,111,111?   A.  Headache    B. "0" because no numbers go that high   C. 12345678987654320    D. 11 Bazillion   E. One


If you've come here for winter you may be disappointed.  These
photos are from 2010.  This is about as bad as it gets in Pensacola.

Winter...The Good Old Days
If you've never lived in a cold climate you've missed something. Frostbite and pneumonia come to mind. Just kidding. Winter is an energizing event of hats, gloves, sleds and snowballs. It's the North Wind and it's every bit as refreshing as feeling the ocean breezes that reward you for living on the coast—even a coast as beautiful as this one. I don't remember much if anything about Chicago winters but I know they are sometimes brutal. The family took the train to Ohio.

Eventually we ended up in this Ohio house shown here and below. There was a heater of sorts built into the hall floor. You pumped until you spotted oil accumulating and the ignition system consisted of dropping pieces of flaming paper into the unit to ignite the fuel. Heat was to radiate up through a metal grate that ended up too hot to step on in bare feet. My father was from rural Wisconsin. He had no problem with someone being able to see his breath upon waking. My mother was orphaned and often near homeless before homelessness got our attention. Both parents were children of the Great Depression. It was nicer housing than they ever thought they could have,

Breakfast (and sometimes lunch and dinner) often consisted of an obscure German-American poverty food called goetta. It consisted of steel cut oats (called pinhead oats) and inexpensive meats (usually pork) that had most fat trimmed away before cooking and grinding. It was pronounced "gutta" in Low German. Today, most Germans on any continent have probably never heard of it. I still make a meatless version of it today. It's gone from a poverty food to a comfort food. Sugar and butter wer cheap. So was white bread.  Breakfast of sugar sandwiches was not uncommon.

Summers were hot and humid. Spring was full of the hope of happy futures (and baseball). Autumn featured the aroma of burning leaves and gradually colder nights and frosty mornings. Winter was the king of all of that. Cold, dark nights were tempered by lengthening daylight. The radio sometimes announced a snow day. For a little kid who hated school and generally feared the wrath of nuns, a snow day was a comfort. It's been easy to love winter and these occasional Florida cold (actually, cool) snaps are a touch of Paradise.

From the snowy recesses of my mind...

A place to walk—cold and wet
and alone

Winter in a bucolic little town in the American Midwest—it was the 1950s and we were taught to worry about communists waiting to take us over at any minute.  There were diseases such as Polio.  The Korean War was smoldering.   Most issues were black and white.  It was good vs evil.

There were no impersonal supermarkets or super highways.  The train whistle woke you in the night and beckoned of faraway places.  The radio had pop and country music and an insidious invasion of something called Rock & Roll.  It could be heard, via the radio, from mysterious, exotic places during the night.

The Street Where I Lived
The snow was pristine.  It was cold in the winter in Ohio.  Cities spread very little rock salt and sand.  A couple of guys in the back of a dump truck dispensed it with shovels. Autos were fitted with snow tires and chains. The cold wind came out of the north and the west.  They too, whispered of far away places. 

Crude televisions couldn't compete with the outdoors or even the radio, for my attention.

A person didn't have to know much to know enough.

This old house was home and shelter.

Only the super rich had big houses and luxuries such as air conditioners and reliable heaters.  Our house measured about 25 feet by 30 feet.  One tiny bathroom served a kitchen and 5 small rooms.  A damp basement with a low ceiling raised rats, mold and spiders.  For people in the post war housing shortage, it was paradise.

We were poor but we thought we were rich—therefore we were both.

Only hunters kept firearms and only the hard scrapple police chief carried a pistol in his pocket.  One of his deputies was armed, the other was not.  Nobody carried a door key and many left their car keys in their car.

Sled riding hill

Today, everyone is in a rush.  Cities spend a fortune plowing snow and spreading chemicals to keep traffic speeding along.   

Older children carry keys and let themselves into empty houses and apartments.  Younger kids sometimes go from pre school sitters in the winter morning darkness,  to school and then to latchkey sitters, before returning home after dark.  They have been cheated.

A child becomes those first things he sees each morning.  The spirit dies in increments. 

Winter Wonderland (to us, anyway)

The old school
One of the first of many 
places to be alone in a crowd

Winter fields in my heart

Barely 17—My senior year in a new high 
school—just another place I didn't belong

But seasons always change. The family moved  from the 
small house to an even smaller apartment behind some
stores and a bowling  alley.   It was cheaper but you had to 
lock your doors.

The wooded view and the sounds of birds were traded for a
 parking lot and traffic noises.  The wind that once tumbled 
leaves across fields, now blew litter across concrete.  Angry 
voices came through thin walls.

The dirt and gravel, bike riding alley of our youth   was traded 
for the noise and litter of stores and another kind of alley—a 
bowling alley.  There are several types of poverty.  The one 
of the spirit is the worst.

Apartment living—a taste of 
urban life and impermanence

The woods  of my youth—explored alone

The alley—a dirt and gravel road home

The Duke Of Wellington is credited with saying, "The Battle Of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton."  There is much disagreement about the authenticity of the saying.  No big deal.  It doesn't matter who shouts "Fire" as long as there really is a fire.  I've used the Wellington quote elsewhere in my work.  I've also experienced it in my life.   I am sure of this—a man is a product of what he experiences.  The spirit is truly the sum of its parts—those parts being  the things you see and hear—those things you touch and those things that touch you.  Growing up with few material treasures was not bad.  Nature and Nature's God had treasures for all to share and enjoy,   I have stumbled upon some of them.

There is a war raging in the hearts of men.  It is fought between the poverty of the spirit and the exaltation of that same spirit.  Choose your battlefields wisely.  Pick your weapons and allies carefully.  Invest your tears freely.  Winner takes all in this contest.   The man who fashions despair into optimism is a formidable warrior.  He is a dangerous man.

Like Charles Dickens, I have seen the best of times and the 
worst of times.  The entire quote is like an anthem for all ages:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

There is a lesser known quote from Dickens.  It may be of far more value to the soul.  It too, may qualify as an anthem—at least for those folks who have done time on the road—for those wayfaring souls who have felt the pain of being alone in the crowd.   In Great Expectations he wrote:

   "We need never to be ashamed of our tears."

I'm not saying we were poor but the county did put up a sign in our house.  We had to wipe our feet BEFORE we went outside!

OK, while we were out a crook broke in our house.  He looked around and left.  He went home and brought us some of his stuff.


We were treated to quite a sky display last night (12-3-18).  Please notice the bird in the photo. 
My best guess is an owl—maybe even a Great Horned Owl about to start the raptor night shift.


Pictures and stories taken from elsewhere on this site

So this deer walks into a saloon and the bartender asks:  "Why the long face?"

Look carefully at the proof  deer can read.

Yogi Berra once gave directions in his unique style:  "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

It's been said that you should target your advertising to the people who are most
likely to need your product.  I live next to a golf course and found this in my yard.

Some people say golf is played for stress.  I'm not sure they mean cause stress or eliminate stress.  I have
found several broken clubs in or near my yard next to  the golf course.  One club was thrown on my roof!

I  have seen golfers throw their club further than they managed to hit their golfball on a par three across the street. 
I have heard the names of God and Jesus Christ implored more on the local course than at a Billy Graham crusade.

As expected, both balls were stolen (or hit) out of the trap.  Golfers would appreciate this.  I once played golf with a struggling golfer who hit a grossly errant shot out over the parking lot.  As the ball  descended  toward the pavement he shouted: "Bite, bite."  It didn't.

When I first moved to this golf course property there was a snake and spider infested thick forest adjacent to my pool.  I soon
cleared my land and installed a park like setting that included a stone walkway, park bench and lamp post.  At first I decided
to mark the stumps for safety in trimming and mowing.  I hit on the idea of nailing a white golf ball on each item that was to
be avoided in trimming.  The idea got quickly out of hand proving the adage that too  much of anything is just enough. Most 
people thought it was hilarious and a few golfers even gave me extra golf balls to add to the display.  A disgruntled few were
offended and one even tried unsuccessfully to pry the balls away.  Few golfers carry tools I guess.

By far the most interesting response came from a school in Maryland that somehow got a photo of my site similar to this one.  They featured it in their school of art and design catalog as an example of "Dada influenced art." I believe that makes me an artist.

Talk about being mixed up, I looked out my window on a night in 2014 and saw this concrete mixer parked neatly  in the middle of my yard!  The deputies who responded tried in vain to find the owner.  Home Depot was not missing the unit even though their sticker was affixed.  No local contractor was missing it. Area 51. The only logical answer is that it was a disguised alien vessel on a secret mission.

This at first  was suspected to be some kind of alien infestation related to the aforementioned mixer craft.  Further investigation suggested it to be a mushroom called Stinky Squid...Psuedoculus Fusiformis.  I personally like the alien craft explanation better.


OK, granted, the first thing people notice is the strong family resemblance between me and my younger sister, Bonzette. We are often mistaken for twins. Like most of my family, she had some early adjustment issues and ended up being home schooled. Her attempt to attend high school and have a  sports career didn't work out so well. Despite poor eyesight, she would have been a star had the opponents in her first game not come out wearing banana yellow uniforms.  The game, and her high school career, ended in several injured opponents and a subsequent forfeit.  Our hopes were for her to go directly to college to further her career. You can imagine our pride when we heard she ACED her SAT!  It was later that we learned she actually ATE her SAT and the #2 pencil.  So much for college. 

OK, I know bananas aren't a big part (if any) of the gorilla diet.  I hope you don't think that's the only mistake in the story.  It was my shameless attempt to get your attention so I could promote the local zoo.  The Gulf Breeze Zoo is excellent.  It is located at 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy in Gulf Breeze.  The phone number is 932-2229.  They are preparing their Christmas light show.  Zoo Lights can be seen in December.  Call or check for information about hours and admission fees.  And no, despite the resemblance, I don't even have a sister.


Where do they carry the money for the offering plate?

Not angry enough with me yet?  This should do it.  They say the
popularity of this sect is taking off.  I'm told they are barely legal.


I think this congregation broke away from the Fancy Church of Christ across the street.
(Actually, there really is a town called Modest.)

I have this page nailed to a tree in my yard for those for whom the Internet is
a mystery.  If birds are so smart how come he moves his beak when he reads?

Gators are extremely fast.  That's why you never walk alone. 
All you have to do is outrun your (slower) hiking companion.

"It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry."  (Bob Dylan)


The world is his ashtray.  Can you use cigarette coupons for medical bills?

I'm at a loss for words...

Your break?

A golfer sold his sole to the devil in exchange for a cure for his slice!
(Yes I know the difference between a sole and a soul but it's barely funny the way it is.)

I shudda bin home skooledActually, the smartest person I
know is doing an amazing job of home schooling kids!

Oddly, the religious medal on the right is for St. Anthony—the patron saint of finding lost items!

Looks like Odd Job is still caddying for Goldfinger

What more can be said?  Chutzpah? Hubris?  Audacity?

Scenic Hills (Escambia County)— a good place to raise little ones


This site was originally created for my wildlife photography. I
took this photo and Unique Western Florida just seemed to fit.

You have to trust me on this identification.     This albino mole came into my yard and died from unknown causes.  He was probably stopping to borrow my copy of a mole favorite:  NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND by Dostoevsky. 

The Grateful Dead  (AKA Dead And Company)
The Lockn' Festival 8-26-18

World famous jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis is third from the right.  He
fit right in immediately and played the whole second set and three encores. 
The show will probably be available on YouTube.  You are assigned to listen.


I have decided to self publish some of my works on the Internet.   Pray the Internet survives.   MGB, Catawba Press, The San Fernando Poetry Journal and Statement Magazine are among the publishers/printers who found themselves defunct after handling my writing.  Being low-tech, I have no idea what if any device besides a computer can "read" these books. Believing as I do that you get what you pay for, I regret I can't get the price below free.  There are hard copies available but unless you're starting a campfire and need paper, I would suggest you merely read them on a computer screen. 

A longer self serving introduction can be found HERE

Email Bill Stockland 







Please note that sections of these books contain previously published short fiction and poetry from my other books meant to illustrate and stimulate ideas and thoughts in a different context. 


The old library on a small college campus near the foothills of the mountains

As college classes begin each year I am reminded of what my own experience continues to mean to me so many years later.
 I received so much more than a diploma from what was first a picturesque little college near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Soon to be invaded by the first wave of baby boomers, it grew into a university before my eyes.  I grew too. A university is people—no more and no less.  Those  times and that place had a significant influence on me.  It was the Sixties and anything anyone has ever said about what went wrong in those times is probably telling the truth. In retrospect, a lot of things went right too. Authority was questioned.   A song asked if we'd questioned all the answers.  It was soon a time to even question the questions.  It's never easy but I guess that lament belongs to all ages.  For good or ill every time and place has its story to tell. It's been over 50 years but I am still influenced by four people I met on that diminutive campus.

 Dr. Martin Greenman taught philosophy but more than that he taught me by word and deed that it was alright to be the existentialist I realized I was, and am. He taught me how to live.  I learned there were many scriptures from many sources. The times were turbulent and his example for all was to embrace the turbulence and turn inward for the salvation and enlightenment to face the world. He led me to the conclusion that living in bad faith (to yourself) was the gravest of sins.  One cool starlit night I sat alone near the foothills and experienced my own enlightenment and salvation.  I found it to be true that the test of any philosophy was simple:  Does it work?  Calling him a mentor is an understatement.  He was a sanctuary in dark times of the soul.  He was my friend. 

Dr. Carlisle Cross taught me that literature can pass the test of time.  He taught me of satire and parody on one hand and the deep touching power of words written from the heart on the other.  He embraced humor. A few years ago I created a mythical internet diploma mill called  Escambia University.  It was an attempt to poke fun at the pretense of educational institutions. If he were here today he would be the first to accept a diploma from that phony school and probably hang it in his bathroom. He was a scholar who didn't  take  prestige seriously. He once told me he was thinking of changing his name from Carlisle to "Old Rugged." I still think about (and read and re-read) things my guide encouraged me to explore.

Dr. Wilhelm Exilbirt earned his doctorate in  history  in Vienna before managing to escape the jackboots of the Nazis.  England was his first stop.  A little school near the foothills would be his last.  His words of wisdom and scholarship were validated by the example of his life. He  encouraged me to pursue the academic life. He once said he was mystified by American students who paid for education but tried to acquire as little as they could get away with.  When asked what was the biggest adjustment he had to make in coming to his adoptive culture he responded with your grandfather’s twinkle in his eyes: “Zippers instead of buttons” was all he said.  It somehow pleases me that I am now the age he was when I was first inspired by him. The world and I need him today.

The fourth person is, and will always be,  the most important.  I met my wife-to-be as we each walked in the rain on the quiet campus.  I've loved her and I've loved rain ever since. She was born and raised in the mountains but had come to college after working in the big city.  I was born on Cornell Ave. in Chicago and raised in an Ohio middle class suburb.  Though neither of us was seeking a relationship we almost immediately began sharing a life.  Lover, most trusted confidant and best friend, she is one of the greatest people I've ever known.  She would deny that or say that I should probably try to get to know more people. I know her and it remains the most meaningful of all knowledge.  She is my pearl of great price.  At times it's been the two of us against the world.  Somehow she makes it a fair fight.

Truth and beauty  are wherever you are lucky enough to encounter them.  The University of West Florida campus has its own natural and man made beauty. Many colleges are likewise beautiful.  I enjoy being  around the local campus even though it is larger and architecturally more modern than the school I attended.  For some, college is career prep and if that works education has served a beneficial purpose.  Colleges can also be so much more than just career prep.  That works too.  I would advise students to experience real college campuses. Walk there in the rain and in the sunshine.  Take the words and spirit from the professors you encounter.  I encourage the professor and the student to get to know what the other is about. The exchange can be joy and enlightenment. And always smile at those you meet in the rain.  It may be "The One" you'll be sharing the rain with.  It can make someone's day.  It could make someone's life.