My Encounter with Jesse & Terry Ventura

Please Note: I wrote this article in 1999 when Jesse Ventura first became Governor of the state of Minnesota. A former Navy SEAL, pro wrestler, actor, and radio and television host, Jesse ran as an Independent and a member of the Reform party. He served as Governor from January 1999 through January 2003 and did not run for re-election. Currently he is hosting the television program Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV.

Jesse Ventura Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year

by Joan Holman copyright 1999

This is not a political commentary. It is my commentary on my impression of two people - Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota and former First Lady Terry Ventura. 

I attended an event where Jesse Ventura was awarded the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award by The Minnesota Entrepreneurs, formerly known as the Minnesota Entrepreneurs Club. Since 1981, this organization has been helping actual and aspiring entrepreneurs build businesses and grow companies. 

Jesse Ventura Charisma

Now, I had never seen Jesse in person before. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. His critics have said many unflattering things about him. But, obviously, there are also lots of people who really like him. As Jesse spoke about his role as an entrepreneur, and all he has gone through in his life to have many great achievements, I noticed how he filled the room with his presence. He is truly larger than life, a real Paul Bunyan type figure who has tremendous charisma. He is also very intelligent and humorous, but, most important of all, he is REAL. 

Not Phony

This is his true appeal. Jesse does not wear a mask. Jesse is not phony. Jesse is just Jesse. He knows who he is; he is authentic and unpretentious. Jesse is a born showman, but he is more than that. He has the determination and strength to overcome formidable obstacles and has done so. 

Courage to Be Real

Sure, he is human, and has human faults. So does everyone. But, it was obvious to me that Jesse represents something we as a society need so much--the courage to be real, to know who we are and live our lives congruent with who we are. It takes courage to claim our turf and it takes strength to defend it. Jesse has both courage and strength. 

Flexibility in the Face of Change

Another very popular figure, Will Rogers, was noted for practicing honesty and for being real. He used his wonderful wit to unmask the phoniness so prevalent in politics and in society in general, making people laugh at themselves and their human egos, something we all need to be able to do. There is another quality that I like about Jesse. That quality is flexibility-the ability to change, adapt, to roll with the punches. The only thing that is constant in the universe is change. To retain life, youth, and joy, we must be willing to let go, to change, to be spontaneous. (I have heard it said that the only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of a few feet.) 

Terry Ventura Real and Unpretentious

I was also very impressed with Terry Ventura. She is real, unpretenious, down-to-earth and a great match for Jesse. I felt her strength and intelligence, her determination, joy and enthusiasm.

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