Forward by Thomas G. Lee
Why am I interested in Benjamin K. Pierce?
The fascination begins with my grandfather, Edward Edson Lee (1884-1944), a Wisconsin author who published 50 books under the pen name of Leo Edwards. (www.leoedwards.com) At the height of his success in the 1920's, he and my grandmother, Gladys, spent the winters in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Later my parents, Eugene and Elizabeth Lee, enjoyed a number of winters in Florida and finally moved to Brooksville, Florida when my dad retired.
As a sailor, I had always dreamed of taking my boat by water from my home in Ontonagon, Michigan on Lake Superior to Florida. Because of our family history, I first looked at ports on the gulf side of Florida. Then I met Roger Cook while painting my boat in the Ontonagon Marina. Roger was retired as the Building Official in Fort Pierce, Florida. He recommended Fort Pierce as the place to live on a sailboat during the winter. He was right.
At the age of 73, and the oldest working librarian for the State of Michigan, I decided it was time to make my trip. I flew to Fort Pierce, checked out the Fort Pierce City Marina, and walked around the historic district. I went to K-Dock where most of the sailboats were, and talked with the captains. It was like meeting my wife, Margaret, for the first time. I knew immediately that this was perfect.
I quit my job and on August 1, 2012, I sailed out of the Port of Ontonagon on Lake Superior, heading south by water. Two and a half months later, after a thrilling trip, I tied my sailboat WINDSONG up on K-Dock, where the excitement never stops!
Returning to Michigan for the summer and doing a favor for a school superintendent started my search for Benjamin Pierce.