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The Signature Of A Man: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on June 28, 2014

A Few Words of Explanation Before Toby Takes Over

Oh my goodness, I remember it well, the countless hours being taught penmanship by the nuns at St. Patrick Grade School in Tacoma, Washington. “No, Bill, that B is not right yet. Keep doing it until it is perfect.” I hated the lessons and yet I loved the end result, beautiful cursive that I was so very proud of.

Those days are gone now. I often wonder what a handwriting expert would think of my cursive now. As the fine motor skills have deteriorated with age, my once-proud penmanship has been reduced to chicken scratches.

Over the same extended period of time I have grown as a person. When I write William Dale Holland it means so much more than it once did. The William Dale Holland of today is a man you can trust. He is a man who is lovable and a man who knows how to love. Today I am proud to write William Dale Holland because of what those three names signify.

And what about you? What does your signature stand for? Who is the person that writes your name?

I’m going to turn this over to a good friend of mine, one Toby King, the main character in a novel I am currently writing. I’ll let Toby tell you his thoughts on the signature of man.

My name is William Dale Holland, the creator of Toby King.
My name is William Dale Holland, the creator of Toby King. | Source

Greetings from Toby King

“Put pen to paper my friends. A little cursive, a little script, a little Palmer Method of swirls and loops, all designed to state to the world who you are. See how it flows, from brain to hand to paper, a name to designate a person to designate a personality to designate the essence of….and that leaves us with a dilemma now doesn’t it?

Hey, there’s Bob, hi Bob, how ya doing, Bob, catch you later, Bob and yep, we all know that dude as Bob, but what else does Bob stand for? Who the hell is Bob? Quick word association, come on, play with me, you know you want to….I say Bob and you say what? First thing, I say Bob and you say what? Hey, endless game so let’s hurry up….okay, easier one, I say Toby King and you say what? I say Mary Jane and you say what? See where I’m going with this my friends? Our name signifies so much more than a label.

So what would people say if I said your name? Would they associate words like compassionate, empathy, kind, generous and loving, or would they traipse off into the woods of selfish, uncaring, egotistical and cold? Worth considering don’t you think? Worth straining the brain for some answers, cuz what we see in the mirror is not necessarily what others see in passing, and there’s the rub, eh, there’s the rub. Rub a dub tub three men in a tub and how’s that for a strange image, so go the other direction and rub with some spit shine and polish up that image because the world is watching, the whole world is watching, and you are the star of the show.

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, but wishing ain’t reality and the reality is that your name stands for something, it stands for you, and if you don’t think that’s true then I want some of that stuff you’re smoking, cuz I ain’t jokin and jiving, this is serious shit or at least it should be.

Let’s try again. Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow, but who the hell was Mary and what was she doing hanging with sheep, and Tom, Tom the Piper’s son, but really, folks, wasn’t Tom a whole lot more than just a son? Was he a husband, father, friend, anyone know? Did he give to the poor and help the homeless? Did he rail against injustice and did he stomp out hate whenever possible?

I’m just getting started. Jack can be nimble but can he be sprat? Is it possible for a person to be both, and what does that say about Jack? And do we really know anything about Little Bo Peep? Would you vote for her? Look around the corner and you’ll see Jack Horner, lurking in the shadows trying to sneak a peek at Miss Muffet and her tuffet, and that’s a bit sick if you ask me, that obsession with tuffets, but we have to compare that fetish to those of Poll Parrot and Polly Flanders, two minxes with some serious issues, or maybe they are just sweet and innocent and it is us who have issues, and it’s all so confusing now isn’t it?

How can we know? They sign their names and it signifies who they are, but how can we really know?

Hi, my name is Toby King and I am a writer…and I am a friend…and I am a drunk….and I am a son…and I am a believer in love…and I am a sometimes selfish sonofabitch….and I am what else? What else am I? Will anyone ever know? And if they don’t know then whose fault is it?

This is the dilemma we all face, every friggin’ day of our lives, are we walking the talk or just flapping our jaws and making sounds? Are we living our names or are we raising the bullshit meter? Are we who we purport to be or are we faking it till we make it if in fact we ever make it, make it, roll it up and toss it in the oven, 350 degrees for one hour, smell the aroma, smell the aroma, deliciously delectable or rotting decay, now that is, indeed, the question we must all ask.

So there you have it, the question for the Ages, what does your signature stand for? Stand up, be counted, raise your voice to the heavens and declare to the world who you are, what you are, why you are, because without that signature, without that name, without the actions to back it all up, then you are just so many swirls and loops upon a piece of paper, and that’s no legacy at all.

Worth watching.

Am I who I appear to be? Am I what I appear to be?
Am I who I appear to be? Am I what I appear to be? | Source

Something to Ponder As You Go About Your Day

Thank you Toby!

I was blown away one day when a casual acquaintance told me that I appeared to be sad most of the time. Now this was a person who knew me only in passing; we really had no in-depth communications; we were just two people passing each other on a semi-regular basis. Still, their opinion of me opened my eyes. What was I doing that gave that impression? It came as a shock to me because I am really quite an upbeat person who loves life. How could this person have missed the mark so badly?

Or did they?

What I intend and what I actually portray can be so very different as I found out that day. I can write the most beautiful words about love, but if I am not living those words then they are just vowels and nouns upon a page. It is up to me to live my words. Nobody else has that responsibility.

Or am I just a silly goofball who knows not what he talks about?
Or am I just a silly goofball who knows not what he talks about? | Source

And so I Ask You

What does your signature stand for? What do you stand for? Are you living your beliefs or are you simply stating them?

Yes, my name is William Dale Holland, eighteen letters in all, a first name, a middle name and a last. Dale was my father’s name, so we have a continuation of the family ties in those four letters. Holland is a proud name, standing strong over the years, facing challenges and living by an ethical code based on doing to others as we would have them do to us. William is the torch bearer, the patriarch of a diminishing family, the story-teller whose job it now is to make sure that what this family stood for continues through my actions and the lessons passed on to my son.

When I write those eighteen letters I remember it all, and a sense of pride flows through my veins, and hopefully I will never again be confronted by a casual friend confused by the signals I am sending out to the world.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, if I got the reader to think then I accomplished my goal. Thank you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The Signature Of A Man: A Moment With Bill Reflection this one got me thinking about my name and so much truth about ones name.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, if they don't they will soon enough. Beautiful thoughts my friend. Happy New Year to you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I rarely write my name anymore. My writing is done through my deeds, actions, and what I stand for. When I sign by name now, it is simply 'Deb." Everyone knows who Deb is.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, what a wonderful gift your words are. I hope you are right...my guiding light and motivation is to make a difference in the world with my writing. Crossing my fingers in hope. :) Thank you kind lady.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Interesting hub.

      Even through reading your written words the real William Holland is clear. No fake twirls or inflated swirls are deftly placed to mask the true essence of you.

      You are as you write, decent, honest, caring and a man who is on a path that potentially could make significant changes, in time. It is a pleasure to follow your work and I genuinely believe that you do and will continue to make a difference to a lot of people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, although I'm laughing quite hard right now, somehow I doubt Willy has much to worry about. LOL Thanks my friend; I'll be reading your new one shortly. The internet was down for a day here and I am woefully behind in correspondence.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      This hub is beautiful, meaningful and inspiring, Bill. I just heard from Willy Shakespeare and he is insanely jealous. He told me he is rewriting his famous quote from 'Romeo and Juliet' because of you. You know, that "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," quote. It has little luster compared to your statements, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...MizB, you had me laughing out loud on that comment. Classic! Thank you for a good morning chuckle.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Love your answers, too, Bill, you're right on it. I just had a thought that I should have put in my comment instead of teasing you. It is bad when a person sullies a good name. I guess that's why so m any families had "black sheep". They could say that Junior was the black sheep of the family and still keep their good name intact.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you always leave the most interesting comments. All I can think of is Jesse or Frank James after your story about the doctor's office. :) As for the quality of our name....it's up to us to make it stand for something. As for smoking something...those days are gone my friend, along with bellbottom pants. :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Learning the cursive brings back memories. I have always had a bold flowing handwriting, but as a child I admired the tiny backhand my left-handed friend wrote and tried to imitate it. Then my father, an ex-teacher sat me down and gave me many a lesson in penmanship. I remember him showing me how to make my motion from the shoulder and not move my wrist. I wrote pretty well. Today I’m a little shaky from a shoulder injury, but I still get compliments on my handwriting, thanks to Daddy.

      I don’t tell Mr. B this, but I don’t like my married name. It’s too simple and really doesn’t have any personality like my maiden name. He’s proud of it though because he claims to be kinfolk of a famous outlaw. Recently we were at the doctor’s office, and when he was called, the nurse said, “the man with two first names.” Actually three if you counted his middle name. One of my childhood friends had a brother that we called "the kid with two last names."

      So what’s in a name? For awhile I thought you had been smoking something, but then I got your point. We should treat our name with pride. If it isn’t a proud name, then work to make it a proud one.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, you are very welcome, and I happen to think your name is lovely...as are you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok; I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      I had always thought my name Mathira was rather boring. Now I know it is my individuality and my identification. Thank you billy for such a beautiful insight.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Merry Christmas, Bill! Another interesting hub during the holidays!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my friend (never Annie :) )...Merry Christmas! It has been a love-filled day and I am grateful for friends like you and a loving family. Many blessings in the days to come; you deserve them all.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, Merry Christmas! Powerful words my friend and you are so right about the name. I laughed about the microphone...Michael is the symbol of a good and just man, and Michael it should be.

      I hope you had a beautiful day. I am thankful for friends like you and a family that loves me. Life is good.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith my dear, thank you for spending part of your Christmas with me. Holidays are for old friends so it is only natural to have you here. Blessings always and Merry Christmas.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric! The same right back atcha!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I could not take the time out to stop here and read on this day and wish a man of wonderful character a beautiful Christmas! I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas Day and each day of the New Year ... whew, where did that year go?

      Interesting hub dear William Dale Holland ... written by an interesting man.

      I never liked my given name until I knew what it meant.

      Peace and blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Love and hugs for this time of peace,

      e

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Our names do identify us in so many ways; they're the choice of our parents and we're stuck with them whether we like them or not. I like my names; Ann so it couldn't be shortened, so I get the occasional Annie which I hate! Frances after my lovely aunt and surname Carr from northern/Scottish origins & I sometimes use my mother's surname Marshall from the southern side.

      How we honour those names is another matter. I read a hub some time ago which spoke of teaching children to be proud of their names and use them well. It is our identity and we all need that. It's up to us, though, how we use that identity to present our character and you've illustrated so well how important that is. We should also honour others' names; I always make sure I get the correct spelling as there are so many variations these days.

      Yours is a name that the majority of hubbers have a really clear impression of - your character shines through your writing and you spread many wise messages with your humour and frankness.

      Have a joyful and peaceful Christmas Day, bill!

      Ann

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Merry Cristmas, my friend.

      Strong and powerful name evalution, the William Dale Holland. This is good to know correctly to pronounce when presenting to my God in prayer. Name is very important part of a person or a person is very important part of the name. Who is choosing name we are given without our approval? And why? In the ancient world name was more then a means of identification. It represented the character and authority of the person nd all he stood for. Isn't it than more than a causal friend's opinion when often people express their own mental state seeing your/our face ?! Just asking a question based on certain experience . Anyhow, no one knows Mr. William Dale Holland better than he does. No doubt in my case. My parents were very poor, they couldn't afford a middle name for me, however, acceptable only is Michael . When people call me " mike" after initial introduction , make me discontent, least to say. Why are you changing one of the most powerful name in the spiritual world, into a " microphone" ? There is a strong proclamation in saying Mi-Cha-El correctly. Being aware of it plus knowing that I'm accountable to myself and to my Creator for my words and action , I'm leaving a footprints -- well those who know me ... they are best to speak about ...

      ( Sorry, for entering into forbidden territory again ...)

      Shortly is going to be a new day again the world will celebrate the birthday of LOVE nonetheless unknowingly...

      Have a blessed celebration my friend.

      Voted high up, awesome in real meaning of the word, and interesting .

      Sigh. - a video - just right one for " Christmas Day " - " Would you "(me?!) " treat them differently"? An answer is in actions...

      Good night and blessings .

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure DrBill; thank you for the visit and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Memories and memory reminders. A hard combination to beat. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I love hearing that you found some inspiration from this hub. Blessings to you my friend and a very Merry Christmas. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, that was beautiful.

      I was sitting around the other day and it dawned on me why I have so much trouble with Christmas, even though I love the season. My mom died two weeks before Christmas and my dad died two weeks after Christmas. It's as though I don't trust being happy for fear it will be shot down once again. DJ, I am 65 years old and that realization just hit me. Know who you are? I don't think we ever really get a good grasp on who we are. We are human and we do the best that we can with the baggage we've been given.

      Blessings to you my friend...that's what you are, my friend. :)

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Your pride in your name highly commenbable. Knowing what your name--your ID stand for adds purpose to your life. You caused me some reflection, Bill. I bought my father's name, and then changed it to my middle name to accommodate my husband's name as my surname. I think you planted a seed for one of my future hubs. A Blessed, happy Christmas to you and family!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I have always thought that women get the short end of the stick with that name change tradition....and I do think they lose a bit of their identity in the process.

      Thank you for your kind words. I am very appreciative of your friendship. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Billy,

      Seems like there is more to a name than one first assumes - I think men have an advantage - they marry but they never change their names. Do women lose a little part of their identity perhaps when they marry?

      Billy, I just wanted to stop by and wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas - may the New Year bring you much joy. Be just who you are Billy , I like you that way.

      Blessings

      Sally

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      I once believed that when I grew up, I would have a better understanding of myself, as well as this crazy world we live in.

      My Mom sat me down at a very early age and explained to me that there was no Santa. She said it was just too much trouble. I guess that is the reason I insisted on playing "Santa" until the last son was in college.

      Presents were hidden in neighbor's homes all around the neighborhood.

      It kept the mystic of Christmas and yes, Santa, alive and well.

      I never knew there was such a thing as the Easter Bunny or the Tooth fairy, and I never heard a nursery rhyme until I was an adult. When I was a child, I had one real birthday party. When I had my family, the Easter bunny came and brought wonderful baskets filled with candy and gifts like games for "Game boy".

      Although, it may sound like I am complaining, I told you some background to tell you that I am now, sensitive to the needs of others.

      I don't know who I am until I see a smile on another person's face.

      I don't know who I am until I bring joy to another human being.

      I have taken in women who were abused by their husband.

      I have taken in teens who were thrown out like yesterday's garbage.

      It is quite possible that I would have been a different person had I not

      lived in a nightmare when I was very young.

      My signature is discombobulated---part print, part cursive, part chicken scratch. Who am I? I don't have the foggiest clue. I am a woman, a wife,

      a mother, a step grandparent. Thanks to friends on HP, (WDH), I am a writer. And, on this Christmas Eve, I have much to be thankful for.

      I may never know who I am. I pray to God that there are others who

      know who I am.

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, your husband sounds like a treasure and he is a wise man; when one has a treasure one does not try to change it.

      Merry Christmas my friend.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      A good friend of mine always has a smile on her face even when she went through terrible times. She even has a smile when she cries. She says her smile is genetic. So a face can hide a lot of pain.

      As for my name, I changed when I got married and I am happy I did. The change of last name was the beginning of a better period in my life. My husband is a very sweet and gentle man who allows me to be who I really am and blossom.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I love it when we inspire each other. Thanks buddy and no promises on those presents.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I knew I could count on you to defend my "studious and reflective" look. :) Seriously, I'm just not one of those people that walks around smiling all the time....I'm sure there is some psychological reason for it....LOL....but I like your explanation the best.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I am humbled by your words. Thank you dear friend. I will try to live up to those words in the years to come.

      love always

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My middle name Hugh is also after my father, all three of us boys have that name.

      You just inspired a hub for me, about cursive writing. Thank you. And don't you touch those presents until tomorrow.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I think it's easy to look sad when you're often deep in thought. My husband asks me what's wrong all the time when I'm just wrestling with an issue in my mind. It's hard to try not to think or to put a smile on your face when you're concentrating on something.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      This is an eye opening piece, Bill. The first video brought tears to my eyes. We go through life having no idea what others are going through because we simply don't see and many don't care. You are a man of honor, William Dale Holland. You are compassionate and put others before yourself. You are also funny and a damn good writer. Best of all, you are someone I am proud to call "friend".

      Merry Christmas, my friend! Toby, too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I don't know your middle name, but your first name is perfect for you....it is a warm name, a loving name, a compassionate name....yep, the perfect name for you. Merry Christmas my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, my mom used to call me that when I was in trouble. LOL No wonder I shrink when I hear it now. :) Thanks for dropping by on this day; have a wonderful Christmas.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      You Bill are just perfect as you are nam and all. I hope my own signature reflects that I am a warm and loving wife and mother, too. Thank you Bill seriously though for just being you. Have a wonderful day and Merry Christmas Eve, too!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Hm yes well I like my name and I use to like to write it...along with another lol. Guess we get lazy. I have a couple Dales in my family as middle names. (actually Hollands as last names too, but not blood kin) I started thinking about your name, William Dale, then Billy Dale. That would make a good character name. Never heard it before so that would be good, too!

      Merry Christmas and no peeking in those packages, Billy Dale!