UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA
ATHLETICS ARE SOARING
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Things are looking up in Pensacola!
LINKS TO ATHLETIC EVENTS WILL BE POSTED HERE
I have been a baseball season ticket holder going back to the Pensacola Pelicans. We now have the AA affiliate
of the Cincinnati Reds and for three straight years we have been treated to the play of the game's future stars.
I attended my first professional baseball game over a half century ago. My grandfather had already posted a 17-1 record pitching in an obscure Wisconsin semi-pro league. I was a year or so away from distinguishing myself with a lofty .081 batting average as a Little League right fielder.
It was the ninth inning and manager Birdie Tebbetts had already started a bench clearing brawl by swinging at counterpart Harry "The Hat" Walker. Johnny Temple would later score the fleet footed Chuck Harmon from second base with a walk-off single. It was July 5th of 1955. A little kid was hooked for life.
The action outside the lines kept the entertainment fast paced and interesting these past three years. Hopefully the baseball action and the showmanship has hooked a new generation on what has been a most positive and rewarding addiction for me and the great fans I met at Blue Wahoo games!
Quint Studer and his wife brought us the Blue Wahoos!
"THE PLAY'S THE THING."
Or how Nickle Tickle saved fairy tales!
The set awaits its actors
OK, "The play's the thing" was stolen from Shakespeare (Hamlet I think) but Nick Tickle, Fairy Tale Detective deals with stolen props that threaten the future of fairy tales as we've grown to love them. It has been performed by various theatre groups across the country! I was fortunate to see the performance at the Pensacola Little Theatre by local actors and directors from Acorn Productions and the Pensacola Little Theatre (http://www.pensacolalittletheater.com). It begins with Hansel and Gretel and ends with a papa bear who is afraid of porridge. Along the way a hilarious detective does a Noir Genre performance in the best traditions of Mike Hammer, Sam Spade and Pat Novak (Look it up. you'll be surprised).
Classy and talented artistic expression thrives in Pensacola. There seems to be more talent per capita here than just about anywhere. A slick private detective would say "Pick your poison babe—literature, music of all kinds, dance, opera, theatre and the visual hearts including photography—it's all here and it's fascinating."
|I'm constantly being asked (begged
actually) to display photos of me instead of those good
looking young athletes, coaches and other famous people
I usually display. With that in mind I have
included this recent self portrait and urge you to bring
me bananas and fruit (handed, not thrown thank you) if
you recognize me at a sporting event.
While we are on the subject, the Pensacola area has an excellent zoo located in Gulf Breeze. It is located
at 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy. and well worth the trip. Here are some photos: THE GULF BREEZE ZOO
THE UNIQUE (AND INTERESTING) WEST FLORIDA
From everything I've heard, the seafood industry is very serious about safety and quality.
Sand dunes and salty air...
It's not exactly my religion but it's cool. You see street preachers who believe they
have something of value to give you. This is the corner of Nine Mile Rd. and University.
I think this is a tarpon. Below, a man jumps in to help land the giant fish in shallow water
You can see by these photos why we're called the Emerald Coast.
Danger...jellyfish stings are painful
It's the tentacles that are the problem. I've heard in Australia someone gets stung
about 10,000 times a year. You'd think that guy would stay away from the water.
Look carefully...proof that animals can read.
Let sleeping cats lie...another zoo shot!
Beaches are rarely this crowded...
You can usually find some uncrowded areas.
A Great Blue Heron
A Little Blue Heron
In warmer months free concerts are held on the beach...great music and a great view of the ocean.
THE ARTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN PENSACOLA!
Opera? Symphony? Ballet? Museums? Painting & Sculpture?
You've come to the right place! Pensacola has it all. For example, local ballet performances and classes are frequently presented. The Pensacola Ballet performs regularly and usually features such classics as The Nutcracker (In 2013 it will be presented at the historic and beautiful Saenger Theatre on December 20, 21 and 22). Local ballet groups and leaders educate dancers and produce breathtaking performances. Did I mention talent? Here is a small sample of local ballet performers:
Museums, Displays, Galleries, Parks And Theatres The Equal Of Any
Here are some attractions around the area of Jefferson and Main:
OK...St. Augustine is the oldest continuous European settlement in North America
but Pensacola was the first. Of course my Vikings got to North America earlier than
both. And Native Americans were here when everyone "discovered" the New World.
UWF is working on a dig near the museums.
Footprint of an early settlement
Home of the very excellent Pensacola Ballet!
The T. T. Wentworth Museum
The Excellent Pensacola Art Museum
GOLF FROM SILLY TO SERIOUS
I love living on a golf course. I've played the game but my clubs gather dust. They're so old the head on the driver is smaller than my head. One of my woods is actually made out of wood. These are my modern clubs. They replaced a set that had clubs named niblick, spoon, brassie and stymie loft. OK, that's a joke but as a kid we played with hand me down clubs that sometimes included hickory shafts. By the time we actually got on a golf course we had metal shafts. I digress.Click HERE For More About Golf
A GOLFER AT SCENIC HILLS MADE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL!
Yes, I found proof in my yard that a golfer apparently sold his sole to the devil...probably in exchange for a par on #16 or most likely a dry tee-shot on the water bordered # 17. Satan, as he is prone to do, promptly discarded the man's sole after the damage was done...once again proving he is more than just a heel. Once he has your sole he'll expect you to toe the line. You'll be instep with evil. He's the last person to trust. He's our arch enemy. He probably invented the pun.
(Uh, I know the difference between sole and soul—please don't make me explain these
things. See, saying "soul" wouldn't make sense given I found the sole of a golf shoe.)
You should not throw your club further than you've just hit the ball. This man got excellent distance with a long iron...I'd say nearly 30 yards. He picked up his ball on his way to recovering his club. That's got to be a difficult walk in front of a camera. I will not show his photo. He's suffered enough.
Living on a golf course is like having the (Amateur) Golf Channel for free!
OK LET'S BE SERIOUS
LIGHTNING IS A TERRIBLE DANGER ON THE GOLF COURSE.
We can have thunderstorms even in the winter. I've seen lightning in a snow storm. DON'T PLAY GOLF IN A STORM. PERIOD. It's not worth it. Seek shelter. Almost 60 people a year are killed by lightning in the US. Five to ten percent of them were playing golf. DON'T do what these guys are doing. I'd rather take your photo than give you CPR.
I lightning bolt can approach 50,000 degrees. Is that F or C? It's Fahrenheit but does that really matter? Lighting flashes 25,000,000 times a year. Florida is the leading state for lightning strikes. Alabama is also in the top 5 for this danger. Enough said?
According to the US Weather Bureaus these are golf tips about lightning:
1. Seek shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm. If the course's warning system sounds, head for cover.
2. If possible, get off the golf course or go to a designated lightning shelter (note: open-sided buildings do not provide protection from lightning even if they have a lightning rod).
3. Do not stand under a lone tree. This is where most people are injured or killed.
4. Stay away from water.
5. Stay away from your golf clubs.
6. If your shoes have metal spikes, take them off.
7. Move away from your golf cart.
All you can do is improve your chances. There are no guarantees. Lightning has been known to travel 5-10 miles from a storm. A few years back a high school football team was injured when lightning struck from an apparently clear sky. Even indoors you have to take precautions.
THE VIEW FROM FORT PICKENS
These seagulls were photographed along one of the almost deserted beaches at Ft. Pickens. It is a great place to watch wildlife, walk quiet beaches and study history. Ft. Pickens is a Civil War era US Army fort that guarded the port of Pensacola. It is well worth visiting. In addition to being a fort it was also used as a prison and once held Geronimo. Here are some photos of the area.
An osprey dines in Ft. Pickens:
West Florida is home to many snakes and most are harmless. This photo is of a Black Racer and first appeared in the Wikipedia article on the Black Racer that I originally wrote. This and the majority of photos in that article were taken by me here in Western Florida. When I first submitted the article an editor in France, unfamiliar with our southern wildlife, was suspicious about the article and wondered if I was trying to promote a comic super hero. More information on West Florida wildlife can be found on this site and also at CONFESSIONS OF A BACKYARD NATURALIST
West Florida abounds in bird watching opportunities. These Eastern Bluebirds were photographed here in the Scenic Hills area near the UWF campus. They are part of a larger display at DRAMA AT THE BIRD FEEDER
There is an active surfer community in this area. We recently lost one of the most loved leaders of that community. For more information see TRIBUTE TO YANCY SPENCER
While not equal to the waves of Southern California or Hawaii, Pensacola surfers can be seen challenging their skills in several areas. You can join them without fearing the West Coast "If you don't live here don't surf here" attitude. The model for this image just happens to be a UWF graduate, successful professional and great family man and one of the most intelligent men I've met. He's part of the human resource that is the real treasure of our Unique Western Florida.
SOME MEMORIALS MAKE WESTERN FLORIDA A SPECIAL PLACE
The Greatest Generation...A WW II monument near Bayfront Parkway
A tribute to those who died in Vietnam
A tribute to our great Korean War veterans!
Another war is going on...a war to protect our children. This is a monument for lost children.
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WE ARE ABOUT THE SEA
"I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky
and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by..."
(From Sea Fever By John Masefield)
The local seafood industry is alive and well.
The sun plays along the pier at Casino Beach
Fishing boats in the Gulf Of Mexico
You can usually find a stretch of quiet beach in Pensacola
|I wanted to be a smart
aleck and say this is a scene from an official's
locker room as they cleaned up after calling their
baseball, softball or soccer game. The problem
is the local officials I've met are nice guys to a
person and my game photography almost always shows
them to be exactly right! Besides, there aren't
weeds in a locker room. This scene is from the
Zoo at Gulf Breeze.