Wild William's Room

William's interests are community theater, armchair caving, computers and the internet, gardening, taking care of Harvey, his pet hippopotamus, and (last but not least) relating to God. He is a Christian Libertarian, in that he believes in self-responsibility; that is, sins against man are properly to be handled by government, but sins against God are to be handled by God, and carry their own penalty. Wife Georganne is also a Christian Libertarian.

In the picture to the left, you can see them both cleaning and restoring flowstone in Carlsbad Caverns. They are both proud members of the Cave Research Foundation, where they often volunteer to make caves as natural as possible for your enjoyment. They are also members of the Hondo Grotto, and are honorary members of the North Texas Speleological Society.

Don't track any mud on their nice, clean cave floors or they might hurt you.

The cast and crew of Wee CareHere is the Cast of Wee Care, a play about relationships. Back row: William Payne, the author; Jaime Sotello, the stage manager; John Lyle, who plays Lance; Chaston Rankin, the ASM and Greg for one night; Nick Corralez, who plays Greg; Tracy Alexander, who plays Mother Lott. The front row: Cody Tumlin, the director and my friend; the lovely and talented Jena Tumlin, who plays Andi; and the lovely and talented Hilary Evitt, who plays Lindsey.

I love these people, even if some of them do have nasty tongue studs.

A shortened version of Wee Care competed in AACTfest, and went to the state level. There, it was nudged out because it wasn't artsy fartsy enough. You know, not enough meaning and stuff about relationships and the meaning of life.

Now, notice the names of the characters in the play: Lance, Lindsey, Greg and Andi. Those names come into play in a moment. (Get it? "Play?")


Sheboykins and Comets. Or something like that.Here's our backyard pond. The fishies are named Lance, Lindsey, Greg and Andi. Always remember, a pond is something for a ponder to ponder, and if you're fond of your pond, happiness is only a swish away. Fish are shown to scale, because they generally have them.  The two calico looking critters are sheboykins or shebunkins or schlotzkis or something like that. I didn't pay enough attention at the fish shop. The two that are red or gold are comets, so called because of their color and their habit of darting about in the pool for no apparent reason. I asked them why, and they aren't telling.

You can read the Bible to them, but you have to skip all the parts about fishing. And whatever you do, don't let them see the tartar sauce jar when you take out the trash. Opaque trash bags only. Fish have feelings, too, you know.

The piranhas are on back order, and all four fishies have grown since this picture was taken.

And in the picture to the right, we see Georganne networking with a high-powered executive.  William thought he was the only one in the family still working with clowns. William no longer works with clowns, since he retired from the postal service a while back.

Georganne is a professional fundraiser, and is very good at what she does. The bit with Ronny McD was part of a fundraiser for an organization she used to work for.



Dunstaffnage castle William firmly believes that God has a sense of humor. Were it not so, He would not have created the giraffe, the hippopotamus, the ostrich, the platypus, or me. Here is William and his lovely and talented wifelet touring the ancestral home, aka Dunstaffnage castle. The roof leaks, but the castle got a cameo mention in the popular play Wee Care.

And by the way, have you visited the caving cartoons lately? They're rescanned and improved. Good thing, too, because Angelfire no longer recognizes my password, so I can't fix it anymor


Here is a lovely picture of our two fine daughters. You have to adore them. Crystal, the one on the right, has a law degree from Texas Tech, passed the bar, and is now a full-fledged attorney (as opposed to a partly-fledged attorney). She is married to a fine young man named Neal Stone, which means she now has the name Crystal Stone, which is kind of neat when you think about it.

Candy, the one on the left who is pretty in pink, is a proud graduate of Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, which is chock full of weirdoes, and Candy has given up reforming them. She has moved back to Texas, which is probably a good idea, but you never know. She now teaches in a private school, and is a highly valued member of the staff there. She is also married to a really nice guy named Lynn.


These two lovely young ladies have produced five grandchildren for me, and of course I have pictures to prove it.

All five are, of course, brilliant beyond belief, and it's all a matter of genetics. Here are Evyn, Naomi, Bryce and William, in reverse order of birth. Since they instantly smile and pose when a camera is even in the area, I figure at least one of them (if not all) is destined for show bidness. Put them on a stage, and you'll immediately see why. The newest grandchild is Zoey, shown below.

 Again, this is all a matter of genetics.

The most commonly asked philosophical question in the English language is "Why are we here?"
We are here for several reasons, three of which are presented here, certainly not in order of importance:

(1) To learn. Each of us is born with an insatiable curiosity, which compels us to investigate, to ask questions, to solve puzzles, and to teach others what we have learned. When you found that undocumented feature of Windows XP, you couldn't wait to tell your friends about it.

(2) To choose. God could have created us without free will, without the ability to choose. I suspect it would have been easier to do so. But He went to the extra trouble to design choice into His special creation. This may be why the devil hates us so much.

Daddy holds baby CrystalSome of us choose good; some of us choose evil. If he had made it impossible to choose evil, then the choice for good would have considerably less value, much as a cultured pearl has less value than a naturally-occurring pearl.

(3) To worship God. To those who have not yet become acquainted with our Creator, this may seem a strange purpose. But, taken in context with the first two, it makes complete sense. You just have to think about it.

Texas Bluebonnets

Don't you have better things to do with your time than watch bad TV? Get involved with some community activity, before they pass some stupid regulation against it.

And not some nasty old movie either. Something more culturally rewarding. I know just the thing for a culturally minded person like you.

If you live in Wichita Falls, you should spend some time watching wonderful live theater in Wichita Falls, at the fine institution Backdoor theatre - one of Texas' best.

Here is a lovely snapshot of William and Georganne (top and left) playing major roles in a production of Run for Your Wife from several years ago. Every single audience had a roaring good time, just as you would have, and will if you give live theatre a chance by going to see a show. You want real play-actin'? Backdoor is the place to go.

Now, if you live in Midland, as I do now, you should take in a show at Midland Community Theatre, which holds a huge crowd and which puts on some fine shows.

Whether you get your entertainment via MCT (the best in town) or Backdoor Theatre (the best in town) or the Arts Alliance or the symphony orchestra, it beats playing video games or cruising Kemp. The cultural rewards are incalculable -- if you don't believe me, ask the best math professor you know to calculate them.

My granddad, John Payne Below is a restored photograph of some of my illustrious ancestors. The third one from the left is my great-grandfather Jesse Oliver Payne. The second from the right, holding the banjo as a dramatic prop, is my grandfather John Payne. (An expanded cropping from that picture is displayed to the immediate left). Blood will tell. My granddad John also played a dynamite harmonica, and had a keen sense of humor. If he were alive today, we would no doubt plot mischief together. Since he is not, I plot mischief with my (2nd) cousin Weldon Payne, who provided the photograph, which was then cleverly enhanced digitally by my good friend Ted, with whom I used to plot on a regular basis, and still would except that he went to be with the Lord some time back. Other than that, all of us are safe when used as directed. See the asylum director for details...

As a bonus, you can see pictures of my dad, Jesse Payne, in WW2.

North Georgia Paynes – From left, Millard Vernon, Carrie, Jesse Oliver and Mary Adeline, Otis (?), John and Paul. (courtesy Mrs. A.M. Jennings, Rt. 2, Toney Ala.)

Grandfather John holding baby William in 1951

If you wish to send me email, address it to: which is actually JavaScript to keep the spiders out. If you don't see a link after the word "to," then you have yours turned off, in which case send it to Wm at harbhippo dot com. Note that the latter address is cleverly encrypted to evade spiders, so that maybe I can get fewer spam emails inviting me to see pictures of nekkid wimmin. If you can't un-encrypt it, you probably don't need to talk to me anyway.

and here's the choke spam link, which is completely uninteresting, but which will send those same email harvesting spiders off to harvest several thousand phony email addresses.

Everybody says you have to have all sorts of your favorite links on your web page for some reason, usually so they'll link to yours. I don't do that, but here's a link to a page with my favorite links -- that is, the ones I visit often myself. You can't find Oscar the dog anymore. The comic strip he was in is no longer in production, so the link was removed.  But you can still get extra points for finding a picture of Drew Carey! He's featured in one of the links - do your best.