Ode to an Adventurer

They named him Terry,
but he preferred TJ.
Always in a hurry.
Always in his own way.

His father disappeared at 14,
to his great dismay.
To say he idolized him,
would understate the say.

His father was 101st Airborne,
who helped bring Hitler down.
Helped guard Berchtesgaden,
brought fame to their little town.

His father built a trucking company,
the biggest man around.
Hunting and fishing his legacy,
sharp of eye and sound.

With money from mowing lawns,
a Triumph Bonneville at 16.
Three years and three wrecks later,
motorcycles were not his scene.

He tried college for a bit,
but that was not his style.
Started a fraternity to meet his need.
A degree with spite of it guile.

He met her in Manhattan,
small town meets big city.
While Robert Kennedy lay in rest,
they married without a pity.

He tried corporate America a while,
but it was not his liking.
Set himself up in electrical contracting,
and sent corporate America hiking.

Like his many other hobbies,
he easily took to flying.
Started a commercial flight operation,
but stopped, afraid of dying.

Sold his empire on the Maumee,
to get a little cash in hand.
Went to Florida a boating,
divorced, "to live off the land."

Cruised the Caribbean waters,
with her in a '49 Chris-Craft.
Were soon cruising the highways,
in a pickup camper draft.

Miles and many jobs later,
they finally ended the ride.
To Montana went a hunting,
to become a big game guide.

Off to the Northwest Territories,
where grizzly and caribou collide.
Tread the Nahanni wilderness,
where nature and beauty abide.

Bought a British Columbia resort,
in the Stikine River canyon grand.
Smoked salmon was a virtue,
but the natives owned the land.

Traveled on to Tucson,
a new woman by his side.
Eventually they'd marry.
One daughter, 3 wives--his pride.

Back to Florida he wandered,
from Naples to Sebring.
Pro bass fishing became his passion,
multiple enterprises he'd bring.

Forty three years after,
and ten years too late,
his father was found in Boise,
at least he knew his Dad’s fate.

For if the full story could be told,
his tales one could not believe.
like Hemingway, TJ lived life large.
And wore it on his sleeve.

Terry's Father the Pitcher

Terry's Father, the Pitcher

Terry, the Young Hunter

The Young Hunter

Cousins Dressed Up

Cousins Dressed Up
Terry in the Middle


More Poems

My Place

Copyright 2006 © Ronald W. Hull


Terry J. Wenzel died when his truck rolled over
the night of December 27, 2006 near Kathryn, North Dakota.  He was 59. 
Many will remember him.

Terry's truck after the accident