Be Open To Fun, And Elephants.

I have a memory like an elephant. In fact, elephants often consult me.~Noel Coward

We didn’t spend a lot of time at home this weekend. Saturday was taken up by the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire , a yearly event in Gainesville, Fl.

My wife, two daughters and I spent the day walking around the faire, eating lots of great food and taking in the entertainment such as jousting and falconry demonstrations. If you’re in the area this weekend or next, I recommend you pay a visit… It’s definitely worth the time, and you will spend a lot of time there.

One of the best surprises we discovered was a vendor offering elephant rides, and for only five dollars per person. I rode an elephant once, over thirty years ago at the Dutchess County Fair in New York. It was a short ride but it is still vivid in my memory… I can clearly feel the wiry hair on the elephant’s head, and the roughness of the skin…

Doug was jealous when he saw this photo...

Doug was jealous when he saw this photo…

My wife and daughter two never rode an elephant, so, after a little convincing on my part (daughter two was scared) they were quickly mounted on Judy’s back… Yes, the elephant is named Judy.

The ride lasted only a couple minutes, but I can tell it made the same impression on daughter two as it did on me more than thirty years ago… She talked about it all night long, and probably will for the rest of her life… Like I do.

I’m not usually a fan of elephants, but Judy is sweet… I could tell by her smile. I’m glad we crossed paths with her, and I’m glad I have some photos of our chance meeting.

Judy turned an already fun day into a lifelong memory for us. Now my wife and daughter two have their own elephant story to tell.

My elephant story is thirty years older than theirs, so my elephant was 25 feet tall and ran through building while I was on his back. Their story will grow in time too, and become part of their personal mythology… At least I hope so.

Everyone should ride an elephant sometime during their life. More importantly though, everyone should have their own elephant story to tell their children and grandchildren… Even if it isn’t about elephants…


  1. I ADORE elephants. they carry such wisdom. They are the greatest mothers on Earth. They carry loyalty beyond belief. We can learn so much from all the Animal Kingdom, if we would just listen to them. The only thing I hate is seeing them in captivity. It hurts me.

  2. Carol Hand · · Reply

    Such a lovely story — it brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Carol. I’m glad you like it.

  3. Nice one Doug, glad you have your story.

  4. Where’s the picture of Doug on the elephant????

    1. Doug isn’t allowed at fairs anymore… It’s part of his plea deal.

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