Mr. Robert Merland Tollefson, i.e. "Tolly" Was an outstanding person. My poem eludes to some of his life matters.
“TOLLY POEM" For: Robert Merland Tollefson (And All Tolly Friends)
In honor of and in memory for Mr. Tolly, upon his passing, I felt compelled to share his poem with Tollycraft Forum.
March 2009 two personalized, bound copies of this poem were mailed to Gordon Graham. Gordon hand delivered Tolly his copy.
By, Art Burtis – Owner of 1977 Tollycraft, 34’ tri cabin with a very sunny deck, named, “The Office”
"TOLLY LIFE - AGELESS DESIGN"
Tolly grew rugged in Idaho snow; from very young age having mind on the go
Wisdom a factor runs strong in his genes; with good life to live, age builds means.
Respect and straight thought, passion for all; Tolly made living a time to stand tall.
Boats caught his attention, then attention caught fire; Tolly located his true heart’s desire.
Singing and acting he played for a while; but boats for dear Tolly stayed top of the pile.
Designing and building was study he chose; the more he thought boats, the higher thoughts rose.
No matter world times of depression so full; Tolly was always ready to pull.
A mag gave him plans for boat vessel to build; soon his life needs would start to be filled.
Wars come and go, as we all know; tis people as Tolly that finish the show.
Corvette boats, buoy tenders, tugs play a part; their captains, like Tolly, steer strong from their heart.
In war-times of duress, with hope at a low; sweet ice-cream for workers helps everything flow.
Lumber and millwork made Tolly do well; but boats were his passion, that he could tell.
Sudden wind blew cross his lumber shop tour; flames liked high toward ruin for sure.
He then caught insurance, dreaming sea-tales for comfort; twas his capability, to turn ruin triumphant.
Soon there were wisps of waves in his mind; he realized for certain twas time for sea-kind.
Up lifted he felt, knowing full well; as his own boat-filled ruler, success would foretell.
So, to boat designs Tolly entered his might; feeling quite rightly Tolly boats would take flight.
He grumbled, he garnered, Tolly worked his butt off; associates gathered to make his landing soft.
With effort and smarts he planned Tolly boat toys; each meant to be friendly for all women and big boys.
Outboard then inboard, in wood and then glass; 14 then 20 then 60 foot class.
Tolly and Monk, designers dejure; made big ones and small ones, grand selections for sure.
Months turned to years with decades to follow; Tolly’s great boats filled many a sea hollow.
Next thing Tolly knew a following grew tight; each asking him louder to continue his flight.
So keeping his premise of pay as you go; Tolly made commitment to let everyone know.
My Tollys are fashioned with pleasure in mind; fear not their built backbone, seaworthy you’ll find.
Humming along, his boat factory built; Tolly his mates with associates felt.
Offers came in from others that build; asking Tolly to join with their guild.
Carefully, methodically he searched with due diligence; through all of their figures and factory significance.
Each time does he find that when all the smoke clears; they are not as they premised, their books holding smears.
So back to his shop with sea waves in mind; each time to feel comfort as he worked with like kind.
One Tolly then another rolled through the front door, it felt like forever occurring for sure.
They patted each Tolly on the rump as it passed; giving boats ingenuity, via love that could last.
First they built wood, then built with glass; as all things traverse life forms, all eventually pass.
Decades ran by, many years of success; Tolly felt sure they could sell outright, creating no mess.
So sell it he did to a group with big funds; thinking they could play Tolly, with more decades of runs.
Too soon due to items that can hobble a giant; the cost of boat building became highly defiant.
Accountants played numbers, builders they built and salesmen they sold; no matter the efforts, Tollycraft’s end was foretold.
There were hiccups and belches, grand tries galore; all meant to save the once great Tolly store.
No matter how inventive, no matter how smart; no person got Tollycraft a financial restart.
Deep sadness was felt by all true believers; unfortunate conditions placed Tollycraft at hand of receivers.
Once a great effort comes to end of its line; tis best to take comfort from days of past time.
For years Robert Tollefson and friends broke new molds; of boats toward perfection as their designing unfolds.
Tolly boats changed yacht market’s complexion, with many fine seamen telling great recollection.
Tolly and Monk with all of their friends; never looked back as they prospered toward Tolly boat ends.
Now that it’s over, great memories galore; remember not Tolly nor Monk are who closed the door.
Six thousand five hundred Tollys or more; came to existence to travel the shore.
For keeping them going and in good repair, tis a fellow named Gordon whose always right there.
Great structure, design and rugged sea worthy; make all Tolly owners quite ready to survey.
Tolly’s true meaning at end of this show; a meaning deep seated, a reason to know.
On travel, the Tollys for all owners’ pleasure; a life of sea views toward great fun and leisure.
A century from now when we here are gone; there will be classic prized Tollys motoring on.
Great results from Tolly’s system is so simple to see; good endeavors are empowered by the operative word WE!
Successful regards, Mr. Tollefson. You are one great boat builder!
Art Burtis, a proud Tolly owner.
Of necessity and for simplicity, floating devices were utilized by humans for transportation purposes long before the wheel was devised.
Via human ingenuity, intelligent boat designs became the natural outcropping.
Of necessity and for pleasure, floating devices that carry all manner of items will continue to be one of the most often used and intricately designed transportation devices.
Of pleasure, “power boating” and “sail boating” will always remain as one of the best recreational devices ever available, bar none!
By design, Tollycraft will always be a renowned name in boats.