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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