Chairman of Tiffany & Company
A: I don't go on vacation really. I sometimes go off to do a talk and I try to make that a little vacation. I work. In the last seven years there has been only one time â€” two days in June of 1975 â€” that I didn't do a talk. And even then I took some paper with me and worked on a murder mystery. You see, a vacation is doing what you want to do and to stop doing what you have to do â€¦ . But I like what I do, so I'm on vacation 365 days a year. If I had to play volleyball, fish, etcetera, that would be real work. In fact, the IRS can't believe I don't take vacations. If they can figure out how to write one book a month and still take vacations â€¦ . I do travel, although I never fly. Last year I crossed the ocean on the QEII without stopping. But, I gave two talks each way and I wrote a book.
His latest book, The Right Stuff, deals with the age of rockets, the early astronauts and the world of military flying. Published in September 1979, it is a critical and commercial success that has already hit the best-seller list.
Another time, when he was the guest of honor at a dinner party, the hostess, seated next to him, chatted with such energy that Peerce had trouble getting in a single word. He got his chance when the waiter brought around a tray of assorted salad dressings. The gabby woman asked, "Mr. Peerce, how do you usually eat your salad?"
But Arthur's biggest ambition these days is to expand his company's week-long chartered tour of Jerusalem into a two-week package for Jerusalem and Cairo. Such a tour, he believes, would help create a bond of understanding in the Middle East.
In a leisurely interview at his Rockefeller Plaza office, the author comes across very much as he does on television. His leathery features expand easily into a smile as he delivers, in his slow, concise, foghorn voice, comments that are as thought-provoking as they are witty.