Ron's bio


Life got more rigorous when my family moved to a small farm on 202nd Street, where we raised Angus beef and a few pigs, thus the pig slaughtering episode in my young-adult novel The Turning.

After graduating from Gresham High School, I attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, where I started out majoring in English literature. But I spent my sophomore year in Pavia, Italy, a life-changing event, as most study-abroad experiences turn out to be. Some of my adventures abroad were fictionalized (with an occasional touch of the Decameron) in my first novel, In Light's Delay.

    Medieval Pavia       Duomo (3rd largest cupola in Italy


University (my room overlooked these towers)

Visconti Castle, Pavia (all photos by Ron Terpening)

I switched from English to Italian literature, and, after living for six months in Mexico City, where my girlfriend, Vicki, was attending the University of the Americas, I returned to Eugene, married Vicki, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Romance Languages. 

My wife and I traveled abroad, then moved to Berkeley, where I entered the graduate program in the Department of Italian. I earned my Master's degree and Ph.D. from Berkeley.

Vicki and I lived in Florence, Italy, for a year, while I wrote my dissertation. We lived in an apartment overlooking the Loggia de' Pesci and the Antiquarian Market, neither a major tourist attraction!

Ron in London

My favorite city in Italy depends on the season. In the late fall, I prefer Venice, when the rain fractures the reflections of the lights in the canals. But I've traveled throughout the country from top to bottom, and there's not a village that lacks its attractions.


Gondolieri, Venice          Vicki, Prato, Italy

After graduate school, I taught for four years at Loyola University of Chicago's lakeshore campus.


Since then Vicki and I have lived in Tucson, where I taught Italian at the University of Arizona, until retiring early in 2008 after thirty years of teaching.

In 2016, we moved to Eugene, Oregon, where we live on a ranch of 18+ acres. We're now down to two horses and two dogs.

Take a look at the photo galleries for other scenic photos.

Click here or next page for "My life as a writer"

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