An ad promoting a trip to Glacier National Park

By John Pierce

An enjoyable day with family at SeaWorld in Orlando on Tuesday filled my theme park quota for this decade. So, on the following morning, I dropped them at the entrance to Universal Studios and headed for a more peaceful experience.

My preference for Harry P. Leu Gardens over Harry Potter may not be widely shared. But it worked for me — and the entrance fee was about 80 bucks less than the more popular attraction.

A personal commitment made back in August to spend more time in the natural beauty of the outdoors — something I did very often in my younger years — continues to have benefits. It has become a part of my intentional scheduling.

Upon retrieving my weary but happy relatives from the theme park later that evening, they presented me with a gift. It was for … I’m not sure. 

Providing easy drop-off and pickup service? Not going to the park and getting in their way?

Whatever, it was a coffee mug with the Pierce family crest — a shield adorned with wild boars.

The sales clincher, I learned after unwrapping the ceramic treasure, was a comment made by the clerk upon seeing my wife and daughters examining the mug.

“The Pierce knight was stubborn but hospitable.”

The conversation that followed is not something I need to know.

Surely, it went something like: “That certainly doesn’t describe our dear kind and flexible father, but let’s get it anyway.”


Stubborn, but hospitable? Who makes up that stuff?


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